How long does it take for a cited paper to show up online? I can see a couple of papers that were cited very recently and the papers containing those citations are currently online since a week or two. How long should I expect it to take before those citations show up as citations through Google Scholar or other indexing services?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is not a question considers academia. Rather, the question is based on indexing algorithms of particular websites. – padawan Apr 18 '17 at 0:11
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    I have timed this before and it takes about 4 days. – Shamisen Expert Apr 18 '17 at 1:21

Google Scholar, Web of Knowledge, Scopus and other indexing services have their own ways how the papers get into their database. For Scopus, the journal has to be registered there, and then actively send the data. It's similar for Web of Knowledge I think. Google gets the data from who-knows-where and I doubt you can control it efficiently. In general, it takes couple weeks to several months.

As dgraziotin pointed out in comments, Google Scholar indexes citations from arXiv quite quickly, in couple days. However, by many people and many institutions, arXiv papers are not considered at all regarding citations, unless they are published properly elsewhere and properly Journal-ref'ed; even then, many people don't trust that the arXiv version is correct, because nobody makes any check of this (I mean, you can put whatever Journal-ref to whatever your arXiv paper, so it's not trusted).

  • With the exception of arXiv papers in Google Scholar. In my experience, it takes GS 3-5 days to index an arXiv entry, citations included. It seems it has got quite a preference! – user7112 Nov 28 '13 at 16:04
  • @dgraziotin However, arXiv is not recognized as "a paper", unless you speak about e-pub arXiv journals, which do exist. – yo' Nov 29 '13 at 11:08
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    I use arXiv to self-archive my published papers, so I mainly employ it as a safe hosting platform to free up my papers. You are of course right that arXiv-only papers do not count in many institutions. I do not like the current system, but that is another story. – user7112 Nov 29 '13 at 12:11

With Google Scholar, it depends at least in part on the deal the publisher has made with Google about how soon they are allowed to scrape. For this reason, Google Scholar citations for a year keep going up for months after that year has ended.


It took four days for a Science paper (four days from online publication, three from official publication / print.)

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