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I wish to properly cite the amount of times a paper has been cited according to Google Scholar. However, I couldn't find a proper answer to this question.

The paper in question is:

Blei, David M., Andrew Y. Ng, and Michael I. Jordan. "Latent dirichlet allocation." the Journal of machine Learning research 3 (2003): 993-1022.

Hansen, S., McMahon, M., & Prat, A. (2014) note that

LDA is widely used (...) and has been cited over 8,000 times

But they cite no source! What is the proper source to cite here?

My first thought was something like this:

LDA is widely used (...) and has been cited over 10,000 since its publication, a search on Google Scholar reveals (Google Scholar, date).

edit: I e-mailed my advisor and ended up citing Hansen et al. (2014) saying that the paper had already been cited 8000 times. Not really a satisfying answer ... alas ..

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    In addition to Bill Barth's answer, the Google Scholar citation numbers can be terribly inaccurate in my experience, so I don't know what the meaning of this number would be anyway. – Kimball May 18 '15 at 0:27
  • I would argue that if this number is from a source which only counts citations in other sources published in journals (such as ISI), then there is no need to specify a source - such a number would be a conservative estimate and pose a lower bound also on databases counting other sources. – user151413 Jul 6 at 17:55
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I don't find such citations to citation counts very helpful in reading an article. Assuming such numbers are reasonably accurate, they only represent a snapshot of the popularity of a technique at the time you wrote your article. I would recommend simply saying that it is a popular technique and leaving it at that.

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    Maybe field-dependent, but personally, I'd find the citation of two or three otherwise unrelated papers from a diverse range of topics that indeed do use the technique in question much more convincing and interesting than a citation of a citation count (and also preferrable to just claiming it's "popular" without backing that up somehow). – O. R. Mapper May 10 '15 at 14:05
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    @O.R.Mapper, agreed. Citing papers that cite the original is also a great idea. – Bill Barth May 10 '15 at 17:13
  • I e-mailed my advisor and she told me to cite the paper that cites that is as been cited over 8000 times. So that's what I did, although I did not leave satisfied. – Rainymood May 16 '15 at 16:41
  • " it is a popular^[citation needed] technique" :-) – David Roberts May 21 '15 at 3:42
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    This is the correct answer if the paper is not about bibliometrics. – Anonymous Physicist Jul 6 at 8:53
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I would not give a formal citation, but I would mention something like this:

LDA is widely used (...) and has been cited over 10,000 times as of July 2020, according to Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com).

Key points to note:

  • The URL to Google Scholar is sufficient as a reference. Nothing more is needed and nothing needs to go in the bibliography.
  • It is very important to specify the month and year of the search since, obviously, when the reader eventually reads your article the citation count will almost certainly not be the same.
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  • One can get around temporal issues by saying “more than X” citations. Citation counts very rarely go down. – Stella Biderman Jul 7 at 7:20
  • @StellaBiderman My answer says "over 10,000 times", which is exactly the same thing as "more than X". – Tripartio Jul 7 at 13:47
  • yes, I understand that. Appologies for being unclear, but I was referring to the bullet "It is very important to specify the month and year of the search since, obviously, when the reader eventually reads your article the citation count will almost certainly not be the same." The OP appears to only care about demonstrating the topic is of interest, which means a lower bound is fine and the exact date they look it up isn't so relevant. – Stella Biderman Jul 7 at 15:41

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