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An Empirical Approach to Compare the Performance of Heterogeneous Academic Fields

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  • Cinzia Daraio

    () (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza")

  • Giancarlo Ruocco

    () (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza")

Abstract

In this paper we propose a ìscaling-basedî empirical approach to assess the scientific performance of heterogeneous academic disciplines. It relies on the idea that if we take into account for their two main sources of heterogeneity, the bibliometric distributions of different academic fields can be superimposed and collapse to a unique master curve by a single scaling parameter. By using data on the scientific production of around 2,500 scholars of the university of Rome ìLa Sapienzaî from the Web of Science (WoS) over 2004ñ2008 we i) demonstrate the existence of a master curve; ii) determine the scaling factors which are the cornerstone to compare different academic fields; and iii) show that the master bibliometric distribution follows a Log-normal law.

Suggested Citation

  • Cinzia Daraio & Giancarlo Ruocco, 2012. "An Empirical Approach to Compare the Performance of Heterogeneous Academic Fields," DIAG Technical Reports 2012-03, Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza".
  • Handle: RePEc:aeg:report:2012-03
    as

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    File URL: http://www.dis.uniroma1.it/~bibdis/RePEc/aeg/report/2012-03.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:spr:scient:v:88:y:2011:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-011-0407-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. S. Redner, 1998. "How popular is your paper? An empirical study of the citation distribution," The European Physical Journal B: Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, Springer;EDP Sciences, vol. 4(2), pages 131-134, July.
    3. 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.
    4. Daraio, Cinzia & Moed, Henk F., 2011. "Is Italian science declining?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 1380-1392.
    5. Enrico Deiaco & Alan Hughes & Maureen McKelvey, 2012. "Universities as strategic actors in the knowledge economy," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(3), pages 525-541.
    6. Daraio, Cinzia & Bonaccorsi, Andrea & Geuna, Aldo & Lepori, Benedetto & Bach, Laurent & Bogetoft, Peter & F. Cardoso, Margarida & Castro-Martinez, Elena & Crespi, Gustavo & de Lucio, Ignacio Fernandez, 2011. "The European university landscape: A micro characterization based on evidence from the Aquameth project," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 148-164, February.
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    Keywords

    Research assessment; Normalization; Scaling; Universality; Italian Universities;

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