I am a conducting bibliometric analysis on small/midsize sets of academic papers (40-400), in a longitudinal study (repeated over time on the same dataset). I am interest in retrieving data for each paper, in order of importance (to me):

  1. year and number of citations (the essential ones, the others are not mandatory)
  2. number of authors, number of non-self citations and journal name (ISO form for instance)

This could be performed by hand, using different sources (ResearcherID or Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar). Are there open bases or tools to retrieve such information from a set of Digital Object Identifiers (DOI)? It would be a plus to retrieve the same set of data from these three main sources.

  • 1
    Are you asking for a tool/code to be written to get it from these sources or for an open data alternative to those sources? Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 0:26
  • Open data keeping track of history would be prefered. As I doubt it exists, tools to scrap from openly visible data is appreciated Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 12:54
  • Librarians do this sort of research all the time for papers that their institution produces. I wouldn't be surprised if this sort of info were integrated into IR (Institutional Repository) software, or some of the reference management packages
    – Joe
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 20:53
  • This info may be present, in my instiitution in a diffuse form (report-like document), every 5 years. So the longitudinal aspect is missing too Commented Jan 23, 2016 at 16:40

2 Answers 2


Maybe the rcrossref package for R is helpful. To find the number of citations, You can do things such as


# returns list:
# pap <- cr_works(dois = "10.1371/journal.pone.0042793") 
# pap$data will be 28-column data frame.

cr_citation_count(doi = "10.1371/journal.pone.0042793")


                           doi count
1 10.1371/journal.pone.0042793    41

The API will only work for CrossRef DOIs. This means that the only works that can be searched for must have been published with a member of the Crossref consortium of publishers.

If you are not familiar with R, then instead you can work with the CrossRef REST API directly.


Other than CrossRef alone, OpenCitations might be of help to you as well.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.