The Life Cycle of Scholarly Articles across Fields of Research
Aggregate citation behavior plays a key role in scientific knowledge diffusion, as citations document the collective and cumulative nature of knowledge production. Additionally, citations are commonly taken as input for several influential evaluative metrics used to assess researchers’ performance. Nevertheless, little effort has been devoted to understanding and quantifying how article citations evolve over the years following an article’s publication and how these trends vary across fields of research. By collecting and analyzing a dataset consisting of more than five million citations to 59,707 research articles from 12 dissimilar fields of research, we quantify how citations evolve across fields of research as articles grow older. Analyzing raw citation data spanning different periods poses several methodological challenges; to tackle them, we employ quantile regression, a technique that makes it possible to control for citation inflation (the fact that citations have become more common nowadays) and to take into consideration the well-known asymmetry in the distribution of citations. We find that citations follow a life-cycle pattern. In the first years after publication, articles generally receive a small but growing number of citations until, eventually, they reach a peak from which they then decline. Importantly, the shape of these life cycles varies greatly from one field to the next. Given that several influential metrics restrict their input to a certain range in terms of the number of years since publication, these differences are by no means neutral and should be taken into account when evaluating researchers or their institutions.
|Date of creation:||May 2017|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Björk, Bo-Christer & Solomon, David, 2013. "The publishing delay in scholarly peer-reviewed journals," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 914-923.
- Glenn Ellison, 2013.
"How Does the Market Use Citation Data? The Hirsch Index in Economics,"
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 63-90, July.
- Glenn Ellison, 2010. "How Does the Market Use Citation Data? The Hirsch Index in Economics," NBER Working Papers 16419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Glenn Ellison, 2010. "How does the Market Use Citation Data? The Hirsch Index in Economics," CESifo Working Paper Series 3188, CESifo Group Munich.
- Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521845731, September.
- Roger Koenker & Kevin F. Hallock, 2001. "Quantile Regression," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 143-156, Fall.
- Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521608275, August.
- Victoria Anauati & Sebastian Galiani & Ramiro H. Gálvez, 2016. "Quantifying The Life Cycle Of Scholarly Articles Across Fields Of Economic Research," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(2), pages 1339-1355, 04.
- Raymond J. Carroll, 2001. "Review Times in Statistical Journals: Tilting at Windmills?," Biometrics, The International Biometric Society, vol. 57(1), pages 1-6, 03.
- Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 71-102, October.
- Paul Romer, 1989. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Paul M Romer, 1999. "Endogenous Technological Change," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2135, David K. Levine.
- Rosenberg, Nathan, 1974. "Science, Invention and Economic Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 84(333), pages 90-108, March.
- John Gibson & David L. Anderson & John Tressler, 2014. "Which Journal Rankings Best Explain Academic Salaries? Evidence From The University Of California," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(4), pages 1322-1340, October.
- John Gibson & David L. Anderson & John Tressler, 2012. "Which Journal Rankings Best Explain Academic Salaries? Evidence from the University of California," Working Papers in Economics 12/10, University of Waikato.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23447. 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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.