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Credit Where Credit's Due: Accounting for Co-Authorship in Citation Counts

  • Tol, Richard S. J.

I propose a new method (Pareto weights) to objectively attribute citations to co-authors. Previous methods either profess ignorance about the seniority of co-authors (egalitarian weights) or are based in an ad hoc way on the order of authors (rank weights). Pareto weights are based on the respective citation records of the co-authors. Pareto weights are proportional to the probability of observing the number of citations obtained. Assuming a Pareto distribution, such weights can be computed with a simple, closed-form equation but require a few iterations and data on a scholar, her co-authors, and her co-authors' co-authors. The use of Pareto weights is illustrated with a group of prominent economists. In this case, Pareto weights are very different from rank weights. Pareto weights are more similar to egalitarian weights but can deviate up to a quarter in either direction (for reasons that are intuitive).

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Paper provided by Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in its series Papers with number WP387.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp387
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