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Sub-field normalization in the multiplicative case: Average-based citation indicators

Author

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  • Herranz, Neus
  • Ruiz-Castillo, Javier

Abstract

This paper investigates the citation impact of three large geographical areas – the U.S., the European Union (EU), and the rest of the world (RW) – at different aggregation levels. The difficulty is that 42% of the 3.6 million articles in our Thomson Scientific dataset are assigned to several sub-fields among a set of 219 Web of Science categories. We follow a multiplicative approach in which every article is wholly counted as many times as it appears at each aggregation level. We compute the crown indicator and the Mean Normalized Citation Score (MNCS) using for the first time sub-field normalization procedures for the multiplicative case. We also compute a third indicator that does not correct for differences in citation practices across sub-fields. It is found that: (1) No geographical area is systematically favored (or penalized) by any of the two normalized indicators. (2) According to the MNCS, only in six out of 80 disciplines – but in none of 20 fields – is the EU ahead of the U.S. In contrast, the normalized U.S./EU gap is greater than 20% in 44 disciplines, 13 fields, and for all sciences as a whole. The dominance of the EU over the RW is even greater. (3) The U.S. appears to devote relatively more – and the RW less – publication effort to sub-fields with a high mean citation rate, which explains why the U.S./EU and EU/RW gaps for all sciences as a whole increase by 4.5 and 5.6 percentage points in the un-normalized case. The results with a fractional approach are very similar indeed.

Suggested Citation

  • Herranz, Neus & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2012. "Sub-field normalization in the multiplicative case: Average-based citation indicators," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 543-556.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:infome:v:6:y:2012:i:4:p:543-556
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joi.2012.02.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Herranz, Neus & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2012. "Sub-field normalization in the multiplicative case: Average-based citation indicators," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 543-556.
    2. repec:spr:scient:v:88:y:2011:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-011-0407-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Neus Herranz & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2012. "Sub-field normalization in the multiplicative case: High- and low-impact citation indicators," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(2), pages 113-125, April.
    4. Albarrán, Pedro & Ortuño, Ignacio & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2011. "High- and low-impact citation measures: Empirical applications," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 122-145.
    5. Neus Herranz & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2012. "Multiplicative and fractional strategies when journals are assigned to several subfields," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 63(11), pages 2195-2205, November.
    6. Pedro Albarrán & Juan A. Crespo & Ignacio Ortuño & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2011. "The skewness of science in 219 sub-fields and a number of aggregates," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 88(2), pages 385-397, August.
    7. Pedro Albarrán & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2011. "References made and citations received by scientific articles," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 62(1), pages 40-49, January.
    8. Waltman, Ludo & van Eck, Nees Jan & van Leeuwen, Thed N. & Visser, Martijn S. & van Raan, Anthony F.J., 2011. "Towards a new crown indicator: Some theoretical considerations," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 37-47.
    9. Opthof, Tobias & Leydesdorff, Loet, 2010. "Caveats for the journal and field normalizations in the CWTS (“Leiden”) evaluations of research performance," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 423-430.
    10. R E de Bruin & A Kint & M Luwel & H F Moed, 1993. "A study of research evaluation and planning: the University of Ghent," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(1), pages 25-41, April.
    11. Pedro Albarrán & Ignacio Ortuño & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2011. "Average-based versus high- and low-impact indicators for the evaluation of scientific distributions," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(4), pages 325-339, October.
    12. 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.
    13. van Raan, Anthony F.J. & van Leeuwen, Thed N. & Visser, Martijn S. & van Eck, Nees Jan & Waltman, Ludo, 2010. "Rivals for the crown: Reply to Opthof and Leydesdorff," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 431-435.
    14. Aksnes, Dag W. & Schneider, Jesper W. & Gunnarsson, Magnus, 2012. "Ranking national research systems by citation indicators. A comparative analysis using whole and fractionalised counting methods," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 36-43.
    15. Larivière, Vincent & Gingras, Yves, 2011. "Averages of ratios vs. ratios of averages: An empirical analysis of four levels of aggregation," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 392-399.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Herranz, Neus & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2012. "Sub-field normalization in the multiplicative case: Average-based citation indicators," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 543-556.
    2. Richard S.J. Tol, 2013. "Measuring catch-up growth in malnourished populations," Working Paper Series 6013, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    3. Tol, Richard S.J., 2013. "Identifying excellent researchers: A new approach," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 803-810.
    4. Waltman, Ludo & van Eck, Nees Jan, 2015. "Field-normalized citation impact indicators and the choice of an appropriate counting method," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 872-894.
    5. Waltman, Ludo, 2016. "A review of the literature on citation impact indicators," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 365-391.
    6. Franceschini, Fiorenzo & Maisano, Domenico, 2014. "Sub-field normalization of the IEEE scientific journals based on their connection with Technical Societies," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 508-533.
    7. repec:spr:scient:v:95:y:2013:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-012-0847-x is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Finardi, Ugo, 2013. "Correlation between Journal Impact Factor and Citation Performance: An experimental study," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 357-370.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Citation analysis; Web of Science categories; Journal classification; Research performance; Normalization; European paradox;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • Y80 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Related Disciplines - - - Related Disciplines
    • Z00 - Other Special Topics - - General - - - General

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