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Four groups of the most highly cited scientific articles (46 in total), which either describe the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) System or report scientific research applications of the CSD, have been selected for citation analysis. The analysis has been carried out to study the scientific importance of crystal structure information made available to the international research community via the CSD or via reviews and research articles that make use of the CSD as a primary information source. Two groups, A and B of ten articles each (A published before 1998, and B published post-1998), are authored by staff of the CCDC, while two further groups, C and D containing ten reviews and 16 research articles, respectively, are authored by external scientific users of CSD information. Citations have been analysed by their number, and in terms of the journals, scientific subject areas and geographical regions from which the citations originate. Between them, the 46 articles have received 44 381 citations with 15 articles cited more than 1000 times. Citations come from a very broad range of journals and subject areas, with chemistry and crystallography being the dominant fields as expected, but with a very significant citation rate from the life sciences, particularly from the USA. In recent years, there has been a major increase in citations arising from south Asia and the Far East, principally from China, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Japan, Thailand and Taiwan, who together now rival, and sometimes exceed, the citation rates from Europe and the USA. The effect of citations from new journals, particularly Acta Crystallographica Section E: Structure Reports Online, Crystal Growth and Design and CrystEngComm is clearly reflected in the data.

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