Product citations: what are they, why are they important for reagent vendors, and how do we collect them?


Min Read

In this blog:

  • Why are citations and images the gold standard?
  • Why is citation quality so important?
  • What citation services does CiteAb offer?

Citations are a record of how and where a product has been used.

Product citations leave a trail to follow in the scientific literature, enabling our text-mining technology and team of scientist reviewers to identify and understand reagent use in life science research. 

We collate this highly accurate reagent information into one centralised database that powers our reagent search engine and data-based services, including our citation service for reagent vendors.

So, why are citations important?

Scientists use citations when evaluating products to help them make important purchasing decisions. By seeing how a product has been used in the past, they can understand if it is right for their purposes. 

Researchers therefore expect to see this information on supplier webpages. Published images are a relatively newer feature, but are fast becoming the gold standard on product pages.

Here’s some reasons researchers use citations when deciding which products to buy:

Citations are compelling trust indicators

Citations showcase how a product has been used by an unbiased and trusted third party – a fellow scientist. Seeing how their peers have used products in published work is an important way scientists build their confidence in products. 

Comprehensive experimental information can be found in publications

Scientific publications give detailed experimental context for researchers. The insight provided here can often go far beyond what a supplier can test, providing a much broader guide to use. Accurate citations can therefore help researchers planning experiments, and enables them to assess any validation or further testing that may be required.

They can provide a visual record of product use

Published image citations empower researchers to better assess how a product may work. Used alongside citations, this can help researchers when planning their work.

Now that we’ve established why citations are so important, how do we go about collecting them?

How does CiteAb collect citations?

Collecting these important data manually from the scientific literature is time-consuming and resource intensive. Luckily, there are options out there to outsource and automate this process. We provide one such option with our citation service!

At CiteAb we combine AI driven text-mining technology with extensive human reviewing to collect citations, published images and experimental information for life science research products quickly and, above all, very accurately. 

Why is accuracy important?

Accuracy is really important for researchers browsing citations on product pages. Incorrect citations can lead them to buy the wrong product, leave your page, or even buy a product from elsewhere.

On top of this, going back into your system to identify and remove incorrect citations can be incredibly time consuming! We know as we’ve helped a number of suppliers do just this.

What can we collect citations for?

Our tech means we are able to collect citations for any product, software, instrument and more from the literature. Due to a number of partnerships with leading publishers, we are also able to text-mine selected closed access publications as well as open-access and pre-print publications. 

The CiteAb Citation Widget

Our recently redeveloped widget provides a real-time view of citations for products direct to supplier webpages. This plug-in tool can display product citations, published images and infographics.

Download the infographic at the bottom of this blog to see examples of the three tiers of the widget and the features available with each tier. 

Get in touch!

If you’d like to discuss outsourcing your citation collection with CiteAb do get in touch with the team.

  • Jemina and the CiteAb team

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