Centre for Science and Technology Studies Centre for Science and Technology Studies 2333AL Leiden Zuid Holland 31715273909

Getting Started

Would you like to get started with CitNetExplorer? Below we provide a step-by-step tutorial that guides you through the process of collecting bibliographic data, constructing a citation network, and visualizing and analyzing the network.


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  • JM May 26th, 2024 12:20 pm
    How can I upload Scopus exported file?
    Thank you
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  • essam April 19th, 2024 1:59 am
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  • Iryna April 18th, 2024 3:34 pm
    Thank you so much for so great map tools, its really a very usful for research activity. But I have a problem with citation links. They're missing. And the number of citations between publications is 0. What am I doing wrong? Thank you in advance
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  • lin November 23rd, 2023 10:41 am
  • Aude September 13th, 2023 3:05 pm
    I am a first time user, I have gotten my tab-delimited file from WoS, which works on VosViewer, but I can't open it on CitNetExplorer. The system doesn't allow search and select the file from its location. It shows the main folders that are on my computer, but when I open a the desktop folder, I can't access the files. I tried changing the name, but it doesn't work.
    I have macbook PC
    Can you hlep?
  • marco aurelio September 2nd, 2023 3:52 pm
  • Alexander Zakharov August 18th, 2023 2:10 pm
  • Dr Raymond Mugandani April 9th, 2023 8:23 am
    interested in using this
  • Yupeng Lin April 9th, 2023 3:52 am
    Hello, everyone. To our knowledge, we found that most of the early-accessed articles exported from Web of Science could not be processed by CitNetExplorer with the error of not finding the "publication year" data from the plain text files.
    This problem has been solved in our article "A bibliometric analysis of artificial intelligence chatbots in educational contexts" by Lin & Yu (2023). You can include early-accessed records for a citation network analysis to update your included literature! We extensively welcome users' comments and citations to our methods. We did not find citations for this solution, and we solved this problem originally and independently. If you have also adopted this method similar to ours, we shall express our sincere gratitude and proper credit to you as well.
    I will be happy to assist you to include these article records in your CitNetExplorer!
  • Niklas Hupperich March 8th, 2023 6:15 pm
    Is it possible to use another database than 'Web of Science' as my university does not provide free access to it?
  • Márcia Santos December 1st, 2022 12:38 pm
    I am getting this error when openning a web of science file. No "early access" files exist on my database.
    java.lang.arrayindexoutofboundsexception: 0
    Thank you for helping.
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  • Paul Maesschalck September 29th, 2022 3:56 pm
    I have about 800 refs about one topic On site automation in Construction.
    These are all referenced in Endnote (RIS file export for VosViewer ready)
    If I want to consider trend analysis I don't understand how to import this RIS file or the right methode to start a systematic review.
    Please advice me,
    Kind regards,
    Paul Maesschalck
  • Raymond Mugandani August 21st, 2022 4:45 pm
    Would like to use this for research purposes.
  • Lumila M June 10th, 2022 9:32 am
    Hello! Despite I have 250 records, I don't understand why when opening the file if the software, it's building the network only with 50 of them. Years 1981 to 2004 and excluding 2005 to the present...I don't see the way to change this from the settings...I would appreciate any help!
  • Euripedes Gomes June 3rd, 2022 5:36 pm
    I would like use this to make my researching. How does I need to proceed?
    Euriepdes Gomes
  • Abbey April 11th, 2022 5:33 pm
    How to exclude a publication and re-cluster again without it? after "removing from group x" and "do not show publication", I try clustering again, the publication is still in my network. Do I have to download the list again from web of science? or I need to delete the lines in txt. file mutually and open in CitNetExplorer again?
    • Ludo Waltman April 11th, 2022 8:39 pm
      You need to use CitNetExplorer's drill down feature. This feature enables you to drill down into a subnetwork. Clustering can then be performed in the subnetwork rather than in the original network.
      • Abbey April 12th, 2022 2:42 am
        thanks, but to exclude one particular publication completely from the analysis?
        • Ludo Waltman April 12th, 2022 7:15 am
          When you have drilled down into a subnetwork, all publications that are not included in the subnetwork are no longer included in the analysis. You then also have the possibility to save the subnetwork, so that further analyses can easily be restricted to the subnetwork.
  • burcu umut March 22nd, 2022 1:37 pm
    Dear Ludo,
    I have downloaded the tab limited file from wos. But when ı opened the file from citnet explorer. Program gives me an allert: "can not find DOI number (DI) field".
    I opened the tab limited file which I have downloaded form wos , I saw the DI title and Doi numbers. what is wrong in my steps? Could you help me please?
    • José Rios-Díaz January 3rd, 2023 7:49 pm
      Try to export with option "plain text file" instead of "tab delimited file"
  • Unai March 20th, 2022 7:36 pm
    Dear Ludo,
    I have installed CitNetExplorer on macOS Big Sur 11.5.2. and the software won't be able to read the .txt files. Would you kindly point out at the solution to the problem?
    Thank you
    • Aude September 13th, 2023 10:24 pm
      Hello! Were you able to solve this problem? Would you kindly tell me how you were able to read tab-delimited files on CitNetExplorer for macOS ?
      Thank you
  • Javed Lindner January 28th, 2022 9:46 am
    Hey Ludo,
    somehow I have problems to run CitNet on my system:
    Ubuntu 20.04 and I tried both Java-11 and Java-8 to run it and somehow I only get the "start screen" and the program closes afterwards.
    Do you maybe know, why this happens?
    • Xabier Gandiaga February 1st, 2022 2:25 pm
      Kubuntu 20.04 here
      You can run the program if you execute it with java -jar JARNAME on the terminal.
      But no matter what I do I cannot get it to accept a .txt file.
      Invalid file all the time.
      • Ludo Waltman February 1st, 2022 6:52 pm
        I'm afraid I cannot help with Linux-related issues. I have no experience myself with Linux systems. CitNetExplorer hasn't been tested on such systems.
        • Xabier Gandiaga February 2nd, 2022 1:59 pm
          I fixed it. Seems, for some reason, any JDK that is not OpenJDK 8 crashes on txt loads, at least in my case.
          1- Use openJDK 8
          (1.5- Remember to Export with Record Content:Full Record and References)
          2- Launch the program through the terminal with java -jar
    • Augusto Clemente May 18th, 2022 4:46 pm
      I have the same problem.
  • Li Jun December 14th, 2021 10:30 am
    When I tried to import the txt file downloaded from the Web of Science. I got the following message: Publication without year field. So I always failed to import my file for further analysis. How I can resolve this problem? Thanks.
    • Ludo Waltman December 18th, 2021 11:02 pm
      Perhaps this problem is caused by so-called 'early access' publications in Web of Science. Make sure to exclude these publications when exporting data from Web of Science.
      • Bruno Quirino February 9th, 2022 10:26 am
        I'm dealing with this same problem: an error when opening an exported file from Web of Science: line 'numer' : Publication without year (PY) field.
        I've already excluded early access articles. Could you help me please?
  • SITI JAMIATUL HUSNAINI September 15th, 2021 9:40 pm
    Hello developer,
    Thank you for the nice software. I want to ask if the clustering results using VOSviewer as similar to CitNetExplorer? Do their results provide the same number of clustering and items included in each cluster?
    Thank you very much.
    • Yupeng Lin April 4th, 2023 10:47 am
      Nope. These two softwares are based on multiple relatedness indicators. VOSviewer can cluster records according to Keyword co-occurrences, probably within studies, while CitNet is based on citations between studies.
  • Jong June 27th, 2021 4:33 am
    Dear Ludo,
    Hi, I am using Mac with the latest OS (Catalina 10.15.7). The problem is that, my CitNetExplorer cannot find txt file even though that txt file exists in the folder. (For example, /Users/userID/Downloads folder has JOI.txt in it. But CitNetExplorer doesn't show this JOI.txt file so that I cannot open that txt file.)
    Should I change the JAVA setting? I tried many ways but kept failing. Looking forward to your comments.
    • Meghan December 14th, 2021 1:05 am
      I am having the same problem with a different OS (Big Sur 11.6) and would love advice!
      • Aude September 13th, 2023 10:28 pm
        Please share the solution if you have it. Thank you
  • Jisha John April 14th, 2021 4:50 pm
    Dear Sir,
    I am a research scholar and I wish to study more on citation networks. I am a new user of CitNetExplorer. Can you please share the details of the Web of Science dataset format and some examples of such files, as I am not able to access the same. Anticipating a positive response.
    • Gary Espitia September 2nd, 2021 3:21 am
      I have the same problem, specially with citation managers, anything exported from Zotero and EndNote doesn't seem to be functional with CitNetExplorer, if you have determined with Output Style is compatible please share your method.
  • Gloria Mangoni Ndindir April 6th, 2021 2:41 am
    I am a new user of citnetexplorer.
    I have uploaded txt file with articles exported from the web of science core collection.
    However, when displayed in the software, I was not able to visualize citation links because the citation score is zero. yet, when I google some of the articles, they have been cited several times. Please can you guide on steps I missed in the process?
    Many thanks for your assistance.
    • Mohammad Almutairi August 9th, 2021 1:44 pm
      I think that you used the new site of Web of Science. This new site does not export the citation links. I advise you to use the older site.
      • EL September 1st, 2021 2:09 pm
        I think the new site now supports citation links. Just choose 'Tab delimited File' from the 'Export' button and then choose 'Full record and cited References' from the Record content menu. You are good to go.
  • Maryam January 25th, 2021 11:25 am
    I am new in using your software and I have 34 articles and I want to find cross reference diagram between these articles so in the beginning when I read your tutorial it wroten that I should enter name of publication and year of publication and then it will be for example 420 results and then I should export them in order to use in your software but my question is that is it possible to search only my article and export them or I have to put all articles then in software I have to select my articles?
    • Maryam January 25th, 2021 11:54 am
      another problem that I have is in tutorial wrote that I should choose Web of ScienceTM Core Collection but when I choose it I couldn't find some articles but when I change it to all data I can find them?
      is it possible to use all data or I have to only choose Web of ScienceTM Core Collection?
  • Jurre October 26th, 2020 6:15 pm
    Thank you for providing this amazing problem. I have a problem that may be due to my intended question. I want to visualize citation patterns between 15 papers that all referr to 3 of 4 original papers, and keep citating themselves. However after loading these papers ( I identified them via a systematic review) into webex and later into citnex, there are no links between the papers. Even though i established the links manually. In other words all articles have 0 citation links. Is this due to something i did wrong?
    • Jurre October 26th, 2020 6:16 pm
      i ment to type Thank you for providing this amazing software!!
      • M Constantine December 4th, 2020 10:07 pm
        Is there a guide on how to use CitNetExplorer with ProQuest? ProQuest allows saving files in plaint text (.txt) format but I see errors when attempting to upload the file. I can experiment with saving in different formats, but would prefer there to be a guide. Thank you
        • Ludo Waltman December 6th, 2020 6:51 pm
          I am afraid CitNetExplorer doesn't support ProQuest data.
          • M Constantine December 6th, 2020 7:56 pm
            Thank you for responding Ludo. I wonder if there are any plans to add support for ProQuest?
            • Ludo Waltman December 6th, 2020 11:39 pm
              We don't have such plans at the moment. Unfortunately we lack the resources to create any significant updates of CitNetExplorer.
  • kuria October 24th, 2020 5:10 pm
    Just downloaded CitNetExplorer on a Mac running the latest OS (Catalina 10.15.7). when I open a WoS tab-delimited search file, I get the error message; "An unexpected error has occurred (java.lang.NullPointerException). The program will be terminated". The pgme then terminates when I hit OK and the following msg appears; "The Java JAR file "CitNetExplorer.jar" could not be launched. Check the console for possible error messages"
    I should also add that I have successfully opened the same file on the VOSviewer installed in the same computer without any problems. I do not understand why Java doesn't work with CitNetExplorer?
    • Anders October 24th, 2020 6:17 pm
      Try using java 8. I got the same error, but using jdk-8u202-linux-x64 fixed that, although you might need a Mac OS specific version.
    • Ludo Waltman October 25th, 2020 12:15 am
      This problem is caused by so-called early access publications in Web of Science. For more information, please see the box ‘Problems opening Web of Science files’ on www.citnetexplorer.nl.
    • Barroso May 13th, 2021 3:14 pm
      I faced same issue regards error java.lang.NullPointerException. Is it possible to inform a step by step?
  • Anders M October 21st, 2020 9:44 pm
    In the citation network tab, when I press the "Update publications ... "-button in the bottom of the pages, there is a field named "Number of publications". When I try to increase this to above 100, it just goes down to 100 again.
    Is there a way to show more than 100 publications in the citation network?
    Best regards
    • Ludo Waltman October 25th, 2020 12:18 am
      No, I am afraid not. 100 publications currently is the maximum.
  • Serif Bahcecik September 30th, 2020 9:47 pm
    Thanks for the sofware.
    When I attempt to open a Web of Science file, I get the following error message: "Cannot find DOI number (DI) field" I opened the file and deleted the articles without DOIs but still got the same message.
    Do you have any suggestions for me?
    • Ludo Waltman October 11th, 2020 6:57 pm
      Could you send your file to citnetexplorer@cwts.leidenuniv.nl? I will then take a look at your problem.
      • Rupinder January 13th, 2022 6:28 am
        problem in uploading WOS file
  • Davidson Nogueira September 24th, 2020 10:22 pm
    Dear Ludo.
    I recently started trying to work with CitNetExplorer as it has some features that VosViewer does not. I am working with a set of 35 thousand + papers that I have downloaded the "savedrecs.txt" for from WoS (using the separated by tab (win)). It resulted in 71 of these documents that I tried adding to the CitNetExplorer application to work with them. But I got a pop up box showing the "An unexpected error has occured (java.lang.NullPointerException). The program will be terminated". Turns out, some of my "savedrecs.txt" does work by themselves or in combination with some others, but some do not (at all). I tried re downloading the documents as plain texts and got a different message "Error while reading Web of Science file 'c:user...savedrecs.txt' (line 11469): Publication without year (PY) field". So I tried manually finding the line that was causing trouble to see if I could enter the year or find the title of the paper to exclude it from the WoS list and turns out my document has only 4324 lines.
    So, do you have any advice on how I could fix or get around the problem?
    Thank you,
    • Ludo Waltman September 25th, 2020 8:11 pm
      Could you send your file to citnetexplorer@cwts.leidenuniv.nl? I will then try to take a look at your problem.
      • siheng Li December 15th, 2020 8:31 am
        Dear Ludo:
        I wonder if you have solved this problem? I have came across the same problem as Davidson. I got the massage as "Error while reading Web of Science file...(line 660):Publication without year(PY) field. I checked the document and there is PY in the text,which makes me confused.
        Do you have any suggestions?

        siheng Li
        • Ludo Waltman December 21st, 2020 1:19 pm
          This problem is usually caused by so-called early access publications. When exporting data from Web of Science, you need to make sure your data doesn’t include any early access publications.
  • Changho Kim July 3rd, 2020 7:39 am
    Dear Ludo
    I want use CitNetExplorer for analyzing Patent Citation Network.(great tools ever!) But CitNetExplorer import only web of science's file.
    And I don't know and cannot find web of science's file format. X(
    If you give me some link(web-site) or put on your site some of web of science's file(sample files), I make my patent citation data to web of science file format. I'm sorry my bad English. Thanks in advance.
    • Ludo Waltman July 5th, 2020 10:16 pm
      In addition to Web of Science files, CitNetExplorer also supports so-called publication and citation files. These are plain text files that have a straightforward tab-delimited format. If you send a message to citnetexplorer@cwts.leidenuniv.nl, I can send you an example of these files.
  • Felicia Aileen June 29th, 2020 8:49 am
    Hello, I extracted 123 publications from my database but when I tried opening it in CitNetExplorer, in the left box said that there are only 119 publications. What could be the reason for this reduction? Thanks in advance.
    • Ludo Waltman June 29th, 2020 7:51 pm
      Could you send your Web of Science file to citnetexplorer@cwts.leidenuniv.nl? I will then take a closer look at your problem and try to offer advice.
  • giuseppe vito June 16th, 2020 6:34 pm
    Dear Ludo,
    Is it possible to put CitNet maps online as for Vosviewer ones?
    • Ludo Waltman June 16th, 2020 9:35 pm
      Unfortunately that's not possible.
  • Jake May 14th, 2020 1:40 am
    I'm getting the "java.lang.NullPointerException" error on import despite excluding all early access documents from my Web of Science search results. Any idea what else might cause the error?
    • Ludo Waltman May 14th, 2020 7:59 pm
      Are you sure there are no early access documents in your file? My recommendation is to open the file in a text editor and to search for 'early access' to make sure the file doesn't include any early access documents. If it indeed doesn't include such documents, then feel free to send the file to citnetexplorer@cwts.leidenuniv.nl. I will then take a look at your problem and try to offer advice.
    • Tianshun Yang June 29th, 2020 4:05 am
      I think I may deal with your problem, the key is still the early access documents. In the search result from Web of Scinece, try "Document Types" on the left and choose “more options / values...“”, then, on the new page, click "Early Access" and choose "Exclude". Then export as usual. Wish I can help you
  • Hao Chen April 15th, 2020 6:00 pm
  • Hepdrey March 13th, 2020 10:29 pm
    There is one bug I noticed:
    This is my result page from Web of Science:
    Just in case you need my searching criteria:
    You searched for: TOPIC: (independence screening) OR TOPIC: (variable screening) OR TOPIC: (feature screening)
    I exported the data as specified in the "Getting started.pdf", but when I open the file, the program died... One exported data entry that possibly crashed the program is from this paper:
    Ultra-high dimensional variable screening via Gram-Schmidt orthogonalization
    By: Wang, Huiwen; Liu, Ruiping; Wang, Shanshan; et al.
    How the above information helpful for the support team.
    • Hepdrey March 14th, 2020 12:29 am
      I guess all that with "Early Access:“ are not working well.
      • Ludo Waltman March 14th, 2020 9:38 pm
        This indeed seems to be the problem. For more information, please see the box 'Problems opening Web of Science files' on www.citnetexplorer.nl.
        • Hepdrey March 15th, 2020 1:30 am
          Thanks for your help and support!
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