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Zero impact: a large-scale study of uncitedness

Author

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  • Jeppe Nicolaisen

    () (University of Copenhagen)

  • Tove Faber Frandsen

    () (University of Southern Denmark)

Abstract

This paper presents a large-scale study of the phenomenon ‘uncitedness’. A literature review indicates that uncitedness is related to at least three factors: Field, document type, and time. To explore these factors and their mutual influence further, and at much larger scale than previous studies, the paper focuses on seven subject areas (arts and humanities; social sciences; computer science; mathematics; engineering; medicine; physics and astronomy), seven document types (articles; reviews; notes; letters; conference papers; books; book chapters), and a 20-year publication window (1996–2015). Documents are searched in Scopus, and retrieved year-by-year, discipline-by-discipline, and for each individual document type (total: 29,472,184 documents; 7,508,741 uncited documents). The results show great variance in uncitedness ratios between subject areas and document types. This is probably caused by a somewhat tacitly agreed upon genre hierarchy existing in all subject areas, yet with important local traits and differences. The importance of the time-dimension is documented. Time to first citation varies a great deal between subject areas, and the uncitedness ratio is consequently shown to be quite sensitive to the length of citation windows.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeppe Nicolaisen & Tove Faber Frandsen, 2019. "Zero impact: a large-scale study of uncitedness," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 119(2), pages 1227-1254, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:119:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-019-03064-5
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-019-03064-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jianhua Hou & Jiantao Ye, 2020. "Are uncited papers necessarily all nonimpact papers? A quantitative analysis," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 124(2), pages 1631-1662, August.
    2. Yaşar Tonta & Müge Akbulut, 2020. "Does monetary support increase citation impact of scholarly papers?," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 125(2), pages 1617-1641, November.
    3. van Dalen, Hendrik Peter, 2020. "How the publish-or-perish principle divides a science: The case of economists," Other publications TiSEM a6a5a855-bb5a-4d52-a841-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    4. van Dalen, Hendrik Peter, 2020. "How the Publish-or-Perish Principle Divides a Science : The Case of Academic Economists," Discussion Paper 2020-020, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    5. Pablo Dorta-González & Rafael Suárez-Vega & María Isabel Dorta-González, 0. "Open access effect on uncitedness: a large-scale study controlling by discipline, source type and visibility," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 0, pages 1-26.
    6. Jianhua Hou & Jiantao Ye, 0. "Are uncited papers necessarily all nonimpact papers? A quantitative analysis," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 0, pages 1-32.
    7. Pablo Dorta-González & Rafael Suárez-Vega & María Isabel Dorta-González, 2020. "Open access effect on uncitedness: a large-scale study controlling by discipline, source type and visibility," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 124(3), pages 2619-2644, September.

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