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Some Comments on Egghe’s Derivation of the Impact Factor Distribution


  • Waltman, L.
  • van Eck, N.J.P.


In a recent paper, Egghe [Egghe, L. (in press). Mathematical derivation of the impact factor distribution. Journal of Informetrics] provides a mathematical analysis of the rank-order distribution of journal impact factors. We point out that Egghe’s analysis relies on an unrealistic assumption, and we show that his analysis is not in agreement with empirical data.

Suggested Citation

  • Waltman, L. & van Eck, N.J.P., 2009. "Some Comments on Egghe’s Derivation of the Impact Factor Distribution," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2009-016-LIS, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  • Handle: RePEc:ems:eureri:15184

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mansilla, R. & Köppen, E. & Cocho, G. & Miramontes, P., 2007. "On the behavior of journal impact factor rank-order distribution," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 155-160.
    2. Beirlant, Jan & Glänzel, Wolfgang & Carbonez, An & Leemans, Herlinde, 2007. "Scoring research output using statistical quantile plotting," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 185-192.
    3. Althouse, Benjamin M. & West, Jevin D. & Bergstrom, Ted C & Bergstrom, Carl T., 2008. "Differences in Impact Factor Across Fields and Over Time," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt76h442pg, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
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    Cited by:

    1. Balakrishnan, N. & Sarabia, José María & Kolev, Nikolai, 2010. "A simple relation between the Leimkuhler curve and the mean residual life," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 602-607.
    2. repec:spr:scient:v:85:y:2010:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-010-0209-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Sarabia, José María & Prieto, Faustino & Trueba, Carmen, 2012. "Modeling the probabilistic distribution of the impact factor," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 66-79.
    4. repec:spr:scient:v:87:y:2011:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-011-0338-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Brzezinski, Michal, 2014. "Empirical modeling of the impact factor distribution," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 362-368.

    More about this item


    distribution; impact factor; rank-order distribution;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • M - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics
    • M11 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Production Management
    • O21 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Planning Models; Planning Policy
    • R4 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics

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