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The Evaluation of Citation Distributions from an Economic Perspective

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  • Ruiz-Castillo, Javier
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    Abstract

    The main aim of this paper is to demonstrate that a blend of welfare economics and statistical analysis is useful in the evaluation of the distribution of the citations received by scientific papers in the periodical literature. The paper begins by reviewing the connection between basic scientific quality and citation impact. Next, a summary of results about the citation distributions’ basic features is offered. These results indicate that citation distributions share the same shape, are highly skewed, are often crowned by a power law, and are at a certain bounded distance from each other. In light of this evidence, two normative issues are addressed. Firstly, a novel methodology for the evaluation of research units is illustrated by comparing the citation impact achieved by the U.S., the European Union, and the rest of the world in 22 scientific fields. Secondly, some preliminary thoughts about how to allocate a budget among a set of research fields with the purpose of promoting scientific excellence are included.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8166.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8166

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    Related research

    Keywords: citation analysis; power laws; Research performance; welfare economics;

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    References

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    1. Alonso, S. & Cabrerizo, F.J. & Herrera-Viedma, E. & Herrera, F., 2009. "h-Index: A review focused in its variants, computation and standardization for different scientific fields," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 273-289.
    2. Pedro Albarrán & Juan A. Crespo & Ignacio Ortuño & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2010. "The skewness of science in 219 sub-fields and a number of aggregates," Economics Working Papers we1038, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
    3. Albarrán, Pedro & Ortuño, Ignacio & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2011. "The measurement of low- and high-impact in citation distributions: Technical results," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 48-63.
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