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Characteristics of highly cited papers


  • Dag W Aksnes


Highly cited articles are very different from ‘ordinary’ cited articles. Typically, they are authored by a large number of scientists, often involving international collaboration. The majority of the papers represent regular journal articles (81%), although review articles (12%) are over-represented compared to the national average. The citation curves of highly cited papers follow a typical pattern of rise and decline. However, different types of citation curves can be identified, reflecting possible differences in the cognitive function of the articles. Highly cited papers typically obtain citations from a large number of different journals and from papers representing both close and remote fields. However, this pattern is not very different from the average distribution for all papers. We discuss how the findings can be explained by introducing a conceptual distinction between quality dynamics and visibility dynamics. Copyright , Beech Tree Publishing.

Suggested Citation

  • Dag W Aksnes, 2003. "Characteristics of highly cited papers," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(3), pages 159-170, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rseval:v:12:y:2003:i:3:p:159-170

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pantelis Kalaitzidakis & Theofanis P. Mamuneas & Thanasis Stengos, 2011. "An updated ranking of academic journals in economics," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1525-1538, November.
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    5. David L. Anderson & John Tressler, 2013. "The Relevance of the “h-” and “g-” Index to Economics in the Context of A Nation-Wide Research Evaluation Scheme: The New Zealand Case," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 32(1), pages 81-94, March.
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    7. David L. Anderson & John Tressler, 2008. "Research Output in New Zealand Economics Department 2000-2006," Working Papers in Economics 08/05, University of Waikato.
    8. Joseph Macri & Dipendra Sinha, 2006. "Rankings Methodology for International Comparisons of Institutions and Individuals: an Application to Economics in Australia and New Zealand," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(1), pages 111-156, February.
    9. Laband, David N & Piette, Michael J, 1994. "The Relative Impacts of Economics Journals: 1970-1990," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 640-666, June.
    10. Liebowitz, S J & Palmer, J P, 1984. "Assessing the Relative Impacts of Economic Journals," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 77-88, March.
    11. John Gibson, 2000. "Research productivity in New Zealand university economics departments: Comment and update," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 73-87.
    12. Tom Coupé, 2003. "Revealed Performances: Worldwide Rankings of Economists and Economics Departments, 1990-2000," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(6), pages 1309-1345, December.
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