Cross-Lingual Citations in English Papers: A Large-Scale Analysis of Prevalence Usage and Impact


Citation information in scholarly data is an important source of insight into the reception of publications and the scholarly discourse. Outcomes of citation analyses and the applicability of citation based machine learning approaches heavily depend on the completeness of such data. One particular shortcoming of scholarly data nowadays is that non-English publications are often not included in data sets, or that language metadata is not available. Because of this, citations between publications of differing languages (cross-lingual citations) have only been studied to a very limited degree. In this paper, we present an analysis of cross-lingual citations based on over one million English papers, spanning three scientific disciplines and a time span of three decades. Our investigation covers differences between cited languages and disciplines, trends over time, and the usage characteristics as well as impact of cross-lingual citations. Among our findings are an increasing rate of citations to publications written in Chinese, citations being primarily to local non-English languages, and consistency in citation intent between cross- and monolingual citations. To facilitate further research, we make our collected data and source code publicly available.

International Journal on Digital Libraries