The multidisciplinary Web of Science® (WoS), in particular the WoS Century of Science archive, and some other databases enable tracking historical papers published before 1960. With historical papers we enter an area of completely different publication and citation culture. There are a number of factors making the search for historical papers a daunting task: limited coverage of journals, limitations of specific subject fields, complex author names, complicated journal titles, database errors, etc. Applying bibliometrics to historical papers, ie counting citations as a measure of the impact, may require careful consideration of a large proportion of erroneous citations. It is also necessary to apply time adjustment of the citation counts.
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