IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Research quality evaluation: comparing citation counts considering bibliometric database errors


  • Fiorenzo Franceschini


  • Domenico Maisano
  • Luca Mastrogiacomo


When evaluating the research output of scientists, institutions or journals, different portfolios of publications are usually compared with each other. e.g., a typical problem is to select, between two scientists of interest, the one with the most cited portfolio. The total number of received citations is a very popular indicator, generally obtained by bibliometric databases. However, databases are not free from errors, which may affect the result of evaluations and comparisons; among these errors, one of the most significant is that of omitted citations. This paper presents a methodology for the pair-wise comparison of publication portfolios, which takes into account the database quality regarding omitted citations. In particular, it is defined a test for establishing if a citation count is (or not) significantly higher than one other. A statistical model for estimating the type-I error related to this test is also developed. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Fiorenzo Franceschini & Domenico Maisano & Luca Mastrogiacomo, 2015. "Research quality evaluation: comparing citation counts considering bibliometric database errors," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 155-165, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:qualqt:v:49:y:2015:i:1:p:155-165
    DOI: 10.1007/s11135-013-9979-1

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:scient:v:114:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2585-6 is not listed on IDEAS


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:qualqt:v:49:y:2015:i:1:p:155-165. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.