IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Quantitative evaluation of alternative field normalization procedures

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

The use of citation numbers for the assessment of research quality has become highly relevant in modern science. Although it is well known that scientific domains strongly differ in terms of citation rates, bibliometric indicators currently used in research assessment are often based on the sole use of raw citation numbers. This necessarily leads to unfair evaluation procedures in cross-disciplinary contexts. For this reason, there is an increasing trend towards the formulation of normalization procedures able to suppress disproportions in citation numbers among scientific domains, and thus to lead to more fair cross-disciplinary evaluation criteria. In this paper, we rigorously test the performance of several field normalization procedures devoted to this purpose. We find that four procedures discussed in the literature do worse than the usual normalization with field averages. The latter drastically reduces citation disproportions among scientific disciplines. Finally, we find that a recently introduced two-parameters normalization scheme reduces citation disproportions to a level very close to the best achievable level of reduction.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía in its series Economics Working Papers with number we1305.

in new window

Date of creation: Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we1305
Contact details of provider: Postal: C./ Madrid, 126, 28903 Getafe (Madrid)
Phone: +34-91 6249594
Fax: +34-91 6249329
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. Pedro Albarrán & Juan A. Crespo & Ignacio Ortuño & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2011. "The skewness of science in 219 sub-fields and a number of aggregates," Economics Working Papers we1109, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  3. Radicchi, Filippo & Castellano, Claudio, 2012. "Testing the fairness of citation indicators for comparison across scientific domains: The case of fractional citation counts," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 121-130.
  4. Li Yunrong & Filippo Radicchi & Claudio Castellano & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2013. "Quantitative evaluation of alternative field normalization procedures," Economics Working Papers we1305, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  5. Albarrán, Pedro & Ortuño, Ignacio & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2011. "The measurement of low- and high-impact in citation distributions: Technical results," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 48-63.
  6. Davis, Paul & Papanek, Gustav F, 1984. "Faculty Ratings of Major Economics Departments by Citations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(1), pages 225-30, March.
  7. Moed, Henk F., 2010. "Measuring contextual citation impact of scientific journals," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 265-277.
  8. Moed, H. F. & Burger, W. J. M. & Frankfort, J. G. & Van Raan, A. F. J., 1985. "The use of bibliometric data for the measurement of university research performance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 131-149, June.
  9. Abramo, Giovanni & Cicero, Tindaro & D’Angelo, Ciriaco Andrea, 2012. "How important is choice of the scaling factor in standardizing citations?," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 645-654.
  10. Pedro Albarrán & Ignacio Ortuño & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2010. "High - and low-impact citation measures: empirical applications," Economics Working Papers we10_09, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  11. Juan A. Crespo & Neus Herranz & Yunrongs Li & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2013. "The effect on citation inequality of differences in citation practices at the Web of Sciences subject category level," Economics Working Papers we1303, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  12. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we1305. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.