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Quantitative evaluation of alternative field normalization procedures

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  • Li, Yunrong
  • Radicchi, Filippo
  • Castellano, Claudio
  • Ruiz-Castillo, Javier

Abstract

ide differences in publication and citation practices makes impossible the direct comparison of raw citation counts across scientific disciplines. Recent research has studied new and traditional normalization procedures aimed at suppressing as much as possible these disproportions in citation numbers among scientific domains. Using the recently introduced IDCP (Inequality due to Differences in Citation Practices) method, this paper rigorously tests the performance of six cited-side normalization procedures based on the Thomson Reuters classification system consisting of 172 subfields. We use six yearly datasets from 1980 to 2004, with widely varying citation windows from the publication year to May 2011. The main findings are the following three. Firstly, as observed in previous research, within each year the shapes of sub-field citation distributions are strikingly similar. This paves the way for several normalization procedures to perform reasonably well in reducing the effect on citation inequality of differences in citation practices. Secondly, independently of the year of publication and the length of the citation window, the effect of such differences represents about 13% of total citation inequality. Thirdly, a recently introduced two-parameter normalization scheme outperforms the other normalization procedures over the entire period, reducing citation disproportions to a level very close to the minimum achievable given the data and the classification system. However, the traditional procedure of using sub-field mean citations as normalization factors yields also good results.

Suggested Citation

  • Li, Yunrong & Radicchi, Filippo & Castellano, Claudio & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2013. "Quantitative evaluation of alternative field normalization procedures," UC3M Working papers. Economics we1305, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
  • Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we1305
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Li, Yunrong & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2013. "The comparison of normalization procedures based on different classification systems," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 945-958.
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    13. Li, Yunrong & Radicchi, Filippo & Castellano, Claudio & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2013. "Quantitative evaluation of alternative field normalization procedures," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 746-755.
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    Cited by:

    1. Perianes-Rodríguez, Antonio & Ruiz-Castillo Ucelay, Javier, 2014. "Within and across department variability in individual productivity : the case of economics," UC3M Working papers. Economics we1404, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    2. Perianes-Rodríguez, Antonio & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2015. "Multiplicative versus fractional counting methods for co-authored publications : the case of the 500 universities in the Leiden ranking," UC3M Working papers. Economics we1505, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    3. Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2013. "The comparison of classification-system-based normalization procedures with source normalization alternatives in Waltman and Van Eck (2013)," UC3M Working papers. Economics we1318, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    4. repec:spr:scient:v:105:y:2015:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-015-1741-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Perianes-Rodriguez, Antonio & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2017. "A comparison of the Web of Science and publication-level classification systems of science," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 32-45.
    6. Li, Yunrong & Radicchi, Filippo & Castellano, Claudio & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2013. "Quantitative evaluation of alternative field normalization procedures," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 746-755.
    7. Ruiz-Castillo, Javier & Costas, Rodrigo, 2014. "The skewness of scientific productivity," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 917-934.
    8. Waltman, Ludo, 2016. "A review of the literature on citation impact indicators," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 365-391.
    9. Antonio Perianes-Rodriguez & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2016. "A comparison of two ways of evaluating research units working in different scientific fields," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 106(2), pages 539-561, February.
    10. repec:spr:scient:v:101:y:2014:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-014-1294-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Ruiz-Castillo Ucelay, Javier & Costas, Rodrigo, 2018. "Individual and Field Citation Distributions in 29 Broad Scientific Fields," UC3M Working papers. Economics 26100, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    12. repec:spr:scient:v:113:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2495-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Ruiz-Castillo, Javier & Waltman, Ludo, 2015. "Field-normalized citation impact indicators using algorithmically constructed classification systems of science," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 102-117.
    14. Perianes-Rodriguez, Antonio & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2015. "Multiplicative versus fractional counting methods for co-authored publications. The case of the 500 universities in the Leiden Ranking," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 974-989.
    15. Li, Yunrong & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2013. "The comparison of normalization procedures based on different classification systems," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 945-958.
    16. Cerovšek, Tomo & Mikoš, Matjaž, 2014. "A comparative study of cross-domain research output and citations: Research impact cubes and binary citation frequencies," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 147-161.
    17. Antonio Perianes-Rodriguez & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2016. "University citation distributions," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 67(11), pages 2790-2804, November.
    18. repec:spr:scient:v:113:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2521-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Waltman, Ludo & van Eck, Nees Jan, 2013. "A systematic empirical comparison of different approaches for normalizing citation impact indicators," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 833-849.
    20. J. M. Calabuig & A. Ferrer-Sapena & E. A. Sánchez-Pérez, 2016. "Vector-valued impact measures and generation of specific indexes for research assessment," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 108(3), pages 1425-1443, September.
    21. repec:eee:infome:v:11:y:2017:i:3:p:748-765 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. repec:spr:scient:v:102:y:2015:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-014-1398-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. repec:spr:scient:v:102:y:2015:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-014-1449-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Bornmann, Lutz & Haunschild, Robin, 2016. "Citation score normalized by cited references (CSNCR): The introduction of a new citation impact indicator," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 875-887.
    25. Bouyssou, Denis & Marchant, Thierry, 2016. "Ranking authors using fractional counting of citations: An axiomatic approach," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 183-199.

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