PageRank-Related Methods for Analyzing Citation Networks

  • Ludo WaltmanEmail author
  • Erjia Yan


A central question in citation analysis is how the most important or most prominent nodes in a citation network can be identified. Many different approaches have been proposed to address this question. In this chapter, we focus on approaches that assess the importance of a node in a citation network based not just on the local structure of the network but instead on the network’s global structure. For instance, rather than just counting the number of citations a journal has received, these approaches also take into account from which journals the citations originate and how often these citing journals have been cited themselves. The methods that we study are closely related to the well-known PageRank method for ranking web pages. We therefore start by discussing the PageRank method, and we then review the work that has been done in the field of citation analysis on similar types of methods. In the second part of the chapter, we provide a tutorial in which we demonstrate how PageRank calculations can be performed for citation networks constructed based on data from the Web of Science database. The Sci2 tool is used to construct citation networks, and MATLAB is used to perform PageRank calculations.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Science and Technology StudiesLeiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.College of Computing and InformaticsDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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