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Archetypal Scientists


  • Christian Seiler
  • Klaus Wohlrabe



We introduce archetypal analysis as a tool to describe and categorize scientists. This approach identifies typical characteristics of extreme (’archetypal’) values in a multivariate data set. These positive or negative contextual attributes can be allocated to each scientists under investigation. In our application, we use a sample of seven bibliometric indicators for 29,083 economists obtained from the RePEc database and identify six archetypes. These are mainly characterized by ratios of published work and citations. We discuss applications and limitations of this approach. Finally, we assign relative shares of the identified archetypes to each economist in our sample.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Seiler & Klaus Wohlrabe, 2012. "Archetypal Scientists," CESifo Working Paper Series 3990, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3990

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Zhang, Lin & Liu, Xinhai & Janssens, Frizo & Liang, Liming & Glänzel, Wolfgang, 2010. "Subject clustering analysis based on ISI category classification," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 185-193.
    2. George Emm Halkos & Nickolaos G. Tzeremes, 2011. "Measuring economic journals’ citation efficiency: a data envelopment analysis approach," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 88(3), pages 979-1001, September.
    3. Seiler, Christian & Wohlrabe, Klaus, 2012. "Ranking economists on the basis of many indicators: An alternative approach using RePEc data," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 389-402.
    4. Eugster, Manuel J.A. & Leisch, Friedrich, 2011. "Weighted and robust archetypal analysis," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 1215-1225, March.
    5. Costas, Rodrigo & Bordons, María, 2007. "The h-index: Advantages, limitations and its relation with other bibliometric indicators at the micro level," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 193-203.
    6. Ortega, José Luis & López-Romero, Elena & Fernández, Inés, 2011. "Multivariate approach to classify research institutes according to their outputs: The case of the CSIC's institutes," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 323-332.
    7. Eugster, Manuel J. A. & Leisch, Friedrich, 2009. "From Spider-Man to Hero — Archetypal Analysis in R," Journal of Statistical Software, Foundation for Open Access Statistics, vol. 30(i08).
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    Cited by:

    1. Vinué, Guillermo & Epifanio, Irene & Alemany, Sandra, 2015. "Archetypoids: A new approach to define representative archetypal data," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 102-115.
    2. Díaz-Faes, Adrián A. & Costas, Rodrigo & Galindo, M. Purificación & Bordons, María, 2015. "Unravelling the performance of individual scholars: Use of Canonical Biplot analysis to explore the performance of scientists by academic rank and scientific field," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 722-733.
    3. Klaus Wohlrabe, 2013. "Einige Anmerkungen zum Handelsblatt-Ranking 2013," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 66(23), pages 79-83, December.
    4. Epifanio, Irene, 2016. "Functional archetype and archetypoid analysis," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 24-34.
    5. Christian Seiler & Klaus Wohlrabe, 2012. "Archetypal Analysis: Ein neuer Ansatz zur Klassifizierung von Wissenschaftlern," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 65(22), pages 07-12, November.
    6. Schupp, Claudia & Wache, Benjamin, 2014. "Wie groß ist der Einfluss von deutschen Wirtschaftsforschungsinstituten? Ein Ranking anhand von RePEc-Daten
      [How large is the influence of German economic research institutes? A ranking analysis us
      ," MPRA Paper 55519, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. repec:jss:jstsof:v:077:i06 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    archetypal analysis; classification; scientists; RePEc;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics


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