European Political Science

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 245–253

The Contribution of ISI Indexing to a Paper's Citations: Results of a Natural Experiment

  • Diego Varela

DOI: 10.1057/eps.2012.29

Cite this article as:
Varela, D. Eur Polit Sci (2013) 12: 245. doi:10.1057/eps.2012.29


In this article, I investigate the extent to which ISI Web of Science indexing contributes to the impact of an academic paper. I do this by analysing the results of a natural experiment consisting in the accidental exclusion from the index of an entire issue of a Political Science journal. The statistical tests indicate a significant effect of ISI indexing on the number of citations received by individual papers. The conclusion is that ISI indexing does not simply provide an objective measure of academic impact, but it also affects academic impact itself. This fact provides evidence that, in spite of the increasing competition from other providers such as Scopus or Google Scholar, ISI indexing still has a considerable amount of market power.


bibliometricsindexingimpact factorPolitical Science

Copyright information

© European Consortium for Political Research 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diego Varela
    • 1
  1. 1.University of A Coruña, Campus de ElviñaA CoruñaSpain