I recently noticed that an edited volume of which I wrote one of the chapters is picking up quite some citations. Since the citations are of the entire edited volume, naming only the editors of the book, I wonder whether these citations also "count" for me?

I am wondering if those citations of the entire book can be added to my total citation count (and calculation of H-index etc)?

  • Yes, of course; why wouldn't they count? Or said differently: Count to whom for what purpose?
    – JeffE
    Aug 22, 2015 at 16:11
  • Well because I only wrote one chapter of the edited volume, and the citations are of the entire book, naming only the editors of the book.
    – dsfgsho
    Aug 22, 2015 at 16:16
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    "Counting", if meant literally, implies an official quota system such as "2 peer-reviewed journal articles per year". In that case, you would have to see if your department/university rules include edited volumes. But such rules usually don't distinguish between "widely cited" and "never read". W.r.t. subjective impression and the desideratum of being a "world-class scholar" esp. for tenure devisions, it counts (matters).
    – user6726
    Aug 22, 2015 at 16:38
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    People usually get their h index values from Google Scholar or Web of Science. I believe that Google Scholar gives you credit for any citation to the book (which, in my opinion, is a mistake). Web of Science doesn't index books, so you won't get any credit from there even if your own chapter is directly cited.
    – Corvus
    Aug 23, 2015 at 5:19

1 Answer 1


Let's split this into two different questions: 1) should citations of a "collection" book count as citations of an individual chapter in said book, and 2) will these citations count in any particular database.

Considering the first question, I can see an argument for and an argument against whether such citations should count. In favor of counting, your work clearly is part of the collection, and if the collection has "citable quality" then your work is likely to contribute to that in some way. Opposing this is the fact that "collection" books where each group writes a chapter independently are generally completely lacking in unity as a scientific work. From what I have seen, citing such a book is tantamount to saying, "a bunch of people are working in this area." I thus view a citation of the book as essentially equivalent to citing the ubiquitous "introductory review" chapter where the editors explain their vision of the field, then try to map that onto the collection of chapters they ended up with. In short, I think it typically should not count as a citation of individual chapters.

For the second question: will citation databases agree with me, or will they count a citation of the book as a citation of you? Well, that depends on just what sort of secretive sausage-making happens to be going on inside a particular database at a particular time. From my personal experiences, though, I've seen chapters being treated separately, and the book as a whole being treated as a separate creation by the editors. Take heart, though, that often means the editor's introduction will count as a citation for you!

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    This sure was a good motivator to stop writing book chapters.
    – dsfgsho
    Mar 10, 2016 at 17:35

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