Where you publish matters most : A multilevel analysis of factors affecting citations of internet studies

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 22 - Publication in policy or professional journal

49 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1789-1803
Journal / PublicationJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012


This study explores the factors influencing citations to Internet studies by assessing the relative explanatory power of three perspectives: normative theory, the social constructivist approach, and a natural growth mechanism. Using data on 7,700+ articles of Internet studies published in 100+ Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI)-listed journals in 2000-2009, the study adopted a multilevel model to disentangle the impact between article- and journal-level factors on citations. This research strategy resulted in a number of both expected and surprising findings. The primary determinants for citations are found to be journal-level factors, accounting for 14% of the variances in citations of Internet studies. The impact of some, if not all, article-level factors on citations are moderated by journal-level factors. Internet studies, like studies in other areas (e.g., management, demography, and ecology), are cited more for rhetorical purposes, as suggested by the social constructivist approach, rather than as a form of reward, as argued by normative theory. The impact of time on citations varies across journals, which creates a growing "citation gap" for Internet studies published in journals with different characteristics. © 2012 ASIS&T.

Research Area(s)

  • bibliographic citations, hierarchical models, Internet