Top 10 most-cited UMP books are “oldies but goodies”

by Charles Watkinson on April 24, 2018

We’ve added a new tool to the University of Michigan Press website — “Dimensions badges” that give an indication of how many times our different books have been cited over the years.

Created by our friends at Digital Science, whose Altmetric for Books tool we’ve been using for several years, Dimensions badges are interactive visualizations that showcase citation data for individual publications. Now on the UMP website you’ll find them attached to every book for which the Dimensions database provides information.

The first thing you see on every Dimensions badge is the citation count. If you click through to the accompanying details page you can find the sources of all the citations that feed into the count. While the “score” is pretty meaningless (since citations from book-to-book are, for example, always undercounted in electronic indexes) the ability to dig into the underlying source material offers valuable insights for our authors, our editors, and our marketing staff.

Even if the absolute citation score is questionable, a glance at the relative citation of different books reveals some striking patterns. The average age of our 500 most-cited books is, for example, 21 years and the average for the top 10 is 37 years.  Compared to the antiquity of the books that appear at the top of our Altmetric.com list (the “most engaged with titles) the time it takes to build up citations feels like an eternity. Oldies but goodies indeed.

Who knows what citations from the Dimensions database actually tell us about the quality of University of Michigan Press books (we already know that every book we publish is excellent anyway) . . . But here’s the top ten list for fun:

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