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How to Count Citations If You Must

  • Motty Perry
  • Philip J. Reny

Citation indices are regularly used to inform critical decisions about promotion, tenure, and the allocation of billions of research dollars. Nevertheless, most indices (e.g., the h-index) are motivated by intuition and rules of thumb, resulting in undesirable conclusions. In contrast, five natural properties lead us to a unique new index, the Euclidean index, that avoids several shortcomings of the h-index and its successors. The Euclidean index is simply the Euclidean length of an individual's citation list. Two empirical tests suggest that the Euclidean index outperforms the h-index in practice.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 106 (2016)
Issue (Month): 9 (September)
Pages: 2722-2741

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:106:y:2016:i:9:p:2722-41
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20140850
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  1. Quesada, Antonio, 2011. "Axiomatics for the Hirsch index and the Egghe index," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 476-480.
  2. Glenn Ellison, 2013. "How Does the Market Use Citation Data? The Hirsch Index in Economics," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 63-90, July.
  3. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1982. "Ratio-Scale and Translation-Scale Full Interpersonal Comparability without Domain Restrictions: Admissible Social-Evaluation Functions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 23(2), pages 249-68, June.
  4. Miller, Alan D. & Chambers, Christopher P., . "Scholarly Influence," Working Papers WP2013/1, University of Haifa, Department of Economics.
  5. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  6. Kaur, Jasleen & Radicchi, Filippo & Menczer, Filippo, 2013. "Universality of scholarly impact metrics," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 924-932.
  7. Woeginger, Gerhard J., 2008. "An axiomatic analysis of Egghe’s g-index," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 364-368.
  8. Abram Burk, 1936. "Real Income, Expenditure Proportionality, and Frisch's "New Methods of Measuring Marginal Utility"," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 33-52.
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