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Posted: December 14th, 2019

Citation Content Analysis (CCA): A Framework for Gaining Knowledge from a Variety of Media

Citation Content Analysis (CCA): A Framework for Gaining Knowledge from a Variety of Media

Citation content analysis (CCA) is a research method that uses citations as units of analysis to examine the content and context of scholarly communication. CCA can be applied to various types of media, such as books, journals, websites, social media posts, podcasts, videos, and more. CCA can help researchers gain insights into the purposes, messages, effects, and audiences of different media sources.

CCA can be both quantitative and qualitative, depending on the research questions and objectives. Quantitative CCA focuses on measuring and comparing the frequency, distribution, and patterns of citations in different media sources. Qualitative CCA focuses on interpreting and understanding the meaning, significance, and implications of citations in different media sources.

Some examples of CCA applications are:

– To identify the most influential or relevant sources in a field or topic
– To explore the interdisciplinarity or multidisciplinarity of a field or topic
– To trace the development or evolution of a field or topic over time
– To assess the quality or impact of a source or a group of sources
– To reveal the citation practices or norms of a discipline or a community
– To detect the citation biases or errors in a source or a group of sources
– To discover the hidden connections or relationships among sources
– To evaluate the dissemination or reception of a source or a group of sources

To conduct CCA, researchers need to follow several steps:

1. Define the research questions and objectives
2. Select the media sources to be analysed
3. Collect and organise the citations from the media sources
4. Develop and apply a coding scheme to categorise and label the citations
5. Analyse and interpret the results using appropriate methods and tools
6. Report and discuss the findings and implications

CCA is a flexible and versatile method that can be adapted to different research contexts and needs. However, CCA also has some limitations and challenges, such as:

– The availability and accessibility of media sources and citations
– The validity and reliability of media sources and citations
– The complexity and diversity of citation formats and styles
– The subjectivity and variability of coding schemes and criteria
– The generalisability and comparability of results across different media sources

Therefore, researchers need to be aware of these issues and address them appropriately in their CCA studies.


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