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Multiplicative and fractional strategies when journals are assigned to several sub-fields

  • Neus Herranz
  • Javier Ruiz-Castillo

In many datasets, articles are classified into sub-fields through the journals in which they have been published. The problem is that many journals are assigned to a single sub-field, but many others are assigned to several sub-fields. This paper discusses a multiplicative and a fractional strategy to deal with this situation, and introduces a normalization procedure in the multiplicative case that takes into account differences in mean citation rates across sub-fields. The empirical part studies different aspects of citation distributions under the two strategies, namely: (i) the number of articles, (ii) the mean citation rate, (iii) the broad shape of the distribution, (iv) the characterization in terms of size- and scale-invariant indicators of high- and low-impact, and (v) the presence of extreme distributions, or distributions that behave very differently from the rest. It is found that, in spite of large differences in the number of articles according to both strategies, the similarity of the citation characteristics of articles published in journals assigned to one or several sub-fields guarantees that choosing one of the two strategies may not lead to a radically different picture in practical applications. Nevertheless, the evaluation of citation excellence through a high-impact indicator may considerably differ depending on that choice. The authors acknowledge financial support by Santander Universities Global Division of Banco Santander. Ruiz-Castillo acknowledges financial support from the Spanish MEC trhough grant SEJ2007-67436. This paper is produced as part of the CEPR project 'SCience, Innovation, FIrms and markets in a GLObalized World (SCI-FI GLOW)' funded by the European Commission under its Seventh Framework Programme for Research (Collaborative Project) Contract no. 217436. European Community's Seventh Framework Program

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Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía in its series Economics Working Papers with number we1120.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we1120
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  1. Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2012. "The evaluation of citation distributions," SERIEs, Spanish Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 291-310, March.
  2. Pedro Albarrán & Juan A. Crespo & Ignacio Ortuño & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2010. "The skewness of science in 219 sub-fields and a number of aggregates," Economics Working Papers we1038, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  3. Neus Herranz & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2011. "The end of the "European paradox"," Economics Working Papers we1127, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  4. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  5. Albarrán, Pedro & Ortuño, Ignacio & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2011. "High- and low-impact citation measures: Empirical applications," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 122-145.
  6. Pedro Albarran & Ignacio Ortuno & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2009. "The measurement of low- and high-impact in citation distributions: technical results," Economics Working Papers we095735, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
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