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The matthew index—Concentration patterns and Matthew core journals


  • M. Bonitz
  • E. Bruckner

    (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung)

  • Andrea Scharnhorst

    (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung)


In this paper we extend our studies to the micro-structure of the Matthew effect for countries (MEC). The MEC allows the ranking of countries by their Matthew Index. The rank distribution of countries, observable only at a macro-level, has its roots in re-distribution processes of citations in every journal of the database. These re-distributed citations we call Matthew citations. Data for 44 countries and 2712 journals (based on theScience Citation Index) are analyzed. The strength of the contribution of the individual journals to the MEC (their number of Matthew citations) is skewly distributed. Due to this high concentration of the MEC we are able to define a new type of journal the Matthew core journal: 145 Matthew core journals account for 50% of the MEC. These journals carry a high potential of gaining a surplus of citations over what is expected and the risk of losing a high number of citations as well.

Suggested Citation

  • M. Bonitz & E. Bruckner & Andrea Scharnhorst, 1999. "The matthew index—Concentration patterns and Matthew core journals," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 44(3), pages 361-378, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:44:y:1999:i:3:d:10.1007_bf02458485
    DOI: 10.1007/BF02458485

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    Cited by:

    1. Qiang Wu & Dietmar Wolfram, 2011. "The influence of effects and phenomena on citations: a comparative analysis of four citation perspectives," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 89(1), pages 245-258, October.
    2. Vladimir Pislyakov & Ekaterina Dyachenko, 2010. "Citation expectations: are they realized? Study of the Matthew index for Russian papers published abroad," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 83(3), pages 739-749, June.
    3. Manfred Bonitz & Andrea Scharnhorst, 2001. "Competition in science and the Matthew core journals," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 51(1), pages 37-54, April.
    4. Michel Zitt & Suzy Ramanana-Rahary & Elise Bassecoulard, 2003. "Correcting glasses help fair comparisons in international science landscape: Country indicators as a function of ISI database delineation," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 56(2), pages 259-282, February.
    5. Hajar Sotudeh & Abbas Horri, 2009. "Countries positioning in open access journals system: An investigation of citation distribution patterns," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 81(1), pages 7-31, October.
    6. Leo Egghe & Ronald Rousseau, 2002. "A proposal to define a core of a scientific subject: A definition using concentration and fuzzy sets," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 54(1), pages 51-62, April.

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