Hot Paper Thresholds

Hot papers are papers that receive a large number of citations soon after publication, relative to other papers of the same field and age. More precisely, they are papers published in the past two years that received a number of citations in the most recent two-month period that places them in the top 0.1% of papers in the same field.

Time period for counts:

We measure age for hot papers in two-month periods rather than years, and we scan only those papers published in the last two years to see if they are receiving more citations than the norm. To get a very current sampling of citations, we count citations from only the most recent two-month period. The time periods are defined by database processing dates (the actual date when items are entered into the database, which is not necessarily the publication date). Note that the data is updated bimonthly (six times a year).

Field and age variations:

To correct for field variations in citation rate, each field is treated separately. Furthermore, since older papers tend to be cited more than newer (just published) papers, a separate analysis is made for each two-month grouping of papers, giving a total of 12 groupings over the two-year period.

Sample Report

The following excerpt shows ten two-month periods, beginning with the fourth period (July-August) of 2011. The most recent two-month period is 2013-1 (January-February 2013). This report reveals that a paper in the field of Chemistry is "hot" if:

  • It was added to Web of Science in the 4th period of 2011, and it received at least 14 citations in the most recent two-month period.
  • It was added to Web of Science in the 2nd period of 2012, and it received at least 12 citations in the most recent two-month period.
  • It was added to Web of Science in the 1st period of 2013, and it received at least 3 citations in the most recent two-month period.

FIELD

2011-4

2011-5

2011-6

2012-1

2012-2

2012-3

2012-4

2012-5

2012-6

2013-1

CHEMISTRY

14

11

12

11

12

9

8

6

4

3

When the header of the last column changes to 2013-2, different numbers can appear in some or all of the columns. Those number may be larger or smaller because only citation data from the current two-month period is used to generate the counts in all of the columns.

Be aware that the total number of citations received by a hot paper will likely be higher than the number shown in any one of these columns--which is only the number of citations received in the current two-month period.