On the Heterogeneous Distributions in Paper Citations

Authors : Jinhyuk Yun, Sejung Ahn, June Young Lee

Academic papers have been the protagonists in disseminating expertise. Naturally, paper citation pattern analysis is an efficient and essential way of investigating the knowledge structure of science and technology.

For decades, it has been observed that citation of scientific literature follows a heterogeneous and heavy-tailed distribution, and many of them suggest a power-law distribution, log-normal distribution, and related distributions.

However, many studies are limited to small-scale approaches; therefore, it is hard to generalize. To overcome this problem, we investigate 21 years of citation evolution through a systematic analysis of the entire citation history of 42,423,644 scientific literatures published from 1996 to 2016 and contained in SCOPUS.

We tested six candidate distributions for the scientific literature in three distinct levels of Scimago Journal & Country Rank (SJR) classification scheme. First, we observe that the raw number of annual citation acquisitions tends to follow the log-normal distribution for all disciplines, except for the first year of the publication.

We also find significant disparity between the yearly acquired citation number among the journals, which suggests that it is essential to remove the citation surplus inherited from the prestige of the journals.

Our simple method for separating the citation preference of an individual article from the inherited citation of the journals reveals an unexpected regularity in the normalized annual acquisitions of citations across the entire field of science.

Specifically, the normalized annual citation acquisitions have power-law probability distributions with an exponential cut-off of the exponents around 2.3, regardless of its publication and citation year.

Our results imply that journal reputation has a substantial long-term impact on the citation.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1810.08809

Do funding applications where peer reviewers disagree have higher citations? A cross-sectional study

Authors : Adrian G Barnett, Scott R. Glisson, Stephen Gallo

Background

Decisions about which applications to fund are generally based on the mean scores of a panel of peer reviewers. As well as the mean, a large disagreement between peer reviewers may also be worth considering, as it may indicate a high-risk application with a high return.

Methods

We examined the peer reviewers’ scores for 227 funded applications submitted to the American Institute of Biological Sciences between 1999 and 2006. We examined the mean score and two measures of reviewer disagreement: the standard deviation and range.

The outcome variable was the relative citation ratio, which is the number of citations from all publications associated with the application, standardised by field and publication year.

Results

There was a clear increase in relative citations for applications with a better mean. There was no association between relative citations and either of the two measures of disagreement.

Conclusions

We found no evidence that reviewer disagreement was able to identify applications with a higher than average return. However, this is the first study to empirically examine this association, and it would be useful to examine whether reviewer disagreement is associated with research impact in other funding schemes and in larger sample sizes.

URL : Do funding applications where peer reviewers disagree have higher citations? A cross-sectional study

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.15479.2

Plurality in multi-disciplinary research: multiple institutional affiliations are associated with increased citations

Authors : Paul Sanfilippo​, Alex W. Hewitt, David A. Mackey

Background

The institutional affiliations and associated collaborative networks that scientists foster during their research careers are salient in the production of high-quality science. The phenomenon of multiple institutional affiliations and its relationship to research output remains relatively unexplored in the literature.

Methods

We examined 27,612 scientific articles, modelling the normalized citation counts received against the number of authors and affiliations held.

Results

In agreement with previous research, we found that teamwork is an important factor in high impact papers, with average citations received increasing concordant with the number of co-authors listed.

For articles with more than five co-authors, we noted an increase in average citations received when authors with more than one institutional affiliation contributed to the research.

Discussion

Multiple author affiliations may play a positive role in the production of high-impact science. This increased researcher mobility should be viewed by institutional boards as meritorious in the pursuit of scientific discovery.

URL : Plurality in multi-disciplinary research: multiple institutional affiliations are associated with increased citations

DOI : https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.5664

Collaboration Diversity and Scientific Impact

Authors : Yuxiao Dong, Hao Ma, Jie Tang, Kuansan Wang

The shift from individual effort to collaborative output has benefited science, with scientific work pursued collaboratively having increasingly led to more highly impactful research than that pursued individually.

However, understanding of how the diversity of a collaborative team influences the production of knowledge and innovation is sorely lacking. Here, we study this question by breaking down the process of scientific collaboration of 32.9 million papers over the last five decades.

We find that the probability of producing a top-cited publication increases as a function of the diversity of a team of collaborators—namely, the distinct number of institutions represented by the team.

We discover striking phenomena where a smaller, yet more diverse team is more likely to generate highly innovative work than a relatively larger team within one institution.

We demonstrate that the synergy of collaboration diversity is universal across different generations, research fields, and tiers of institutions and individual authors.

Our findings suggest that collaboration diversity strongly and positively correlates with the production of scientific innovation, giving rise to the potential revolution of the policies used by funding agencies and authorities to fund research projects, and broadly the principles used to organize teams, organizations, and societies.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1806.03694

Creativity in Science and the Link to Cited References: Is the Creative Potential of Papers Reflected in their Cited References?

Authors : Iman Tahamtan, Lutz Bornmann

Several authors have proposed that a large number of unusual combinations of cited references in a paper point to its high creative potential (or novelty). However, it is still not clear whether the number of unusual combinations can really measure the creative potential of papers.

The current study addresses this question on the basis of several case studies from the field of scientometrics. We identified some landmark papers in this field. Study subjects were the corresponding authors of these papers.

We asked them where the ideas for the papers came from and which role the cited publications played. The results revealed that the creative ideas might not necessarily have been inspired by past publications.

The literature seems to be important for the contextualization of the idea in the field of scientometrics. Instead, we found that creative ideas are the result of finding solutions to practical problems, result from discussions with colleagues, and profit from interdisciplinary exchange. The roots of the studied landmark papers are discussed in detail.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1806.00224

Citation Count Analysis for Papers with Preprints

Authors : Sergey Feldman, Kyle Lo, Waleed Ammar

We explore the degree to which papers prepublished on arXiv garner more citations, in an attempt to paint a sharper picture of fairness issues related to prepublishing. A paper’s citation count is estimated using a negative-binomial generalized linear model (GLM) while observing a binary variable which indicates whether the paper has been prepublished.

We control for author influence (via the authors’ h-index at the time of paper writing), publication venue, and overall time that paper has been available on arXiv. Our analysis only includes papers that were eventually accepted for publication at top-tier CS conferences, and were posted on arXiv either before or after the acceptance notification.

We observe that papers submitted to arXiv before acceptance have, on average, 65\% more citations in the following year compared to papers submitted after. We note that this finding is not causal, and discuss possible next steps.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1805.05238

Betweenness and diversity in journal citation networks as measures of interdisciplinarity—A tribute to Eugene Garfield

Authors : Loet Leydesdorff, Caroline S. Wagner, Lutz Bornmann

Journals were central to Eugene Garfield’s research interests. Among other things, journals are considered as units of analysis for bibliographic databases such as the Web of Science and Scopus. In addition to providing a basis for disciplinary classifications of journals, journal citation patterns span networks across boundaries to variable extents.

Using betweenness centrality (BC) and diversity, we elaborate on the question of how to distinguish and rank journals in terms of interdisciplinarity. Interdisciplinarity, however, is difficult to operationalize in the absence of an operational definition of disciplines; the diversity of a unit of analysis is sample-dependent. BC can be considered as a measure of multi-disciplinarity.

Diversity of co-citation in a citing document has been considered as an indicator of knowledge integration, but an author can also generate trans-disciplinary—that is, non-disciplined—variation by citing sources from other disciplines.

Diversity in the bibliographic coupling among citing documents can analogously be considered as diffusion  or differentiation of knowledge across disciplines. Because the citation networks in the cited direction reflect both structure and variation, diversity in this direction is perhaps the best available measure of interdisciplinarity at the journal level.

Furthermore, diversity is based on a summation and can therefore be decomposed; differences among (sub)sets can be tested for statistical significance. In the appendix, a general-purpose routine for measuring diversity in networks is provided.

URL : Betweenness and diversity in journal citation networks as measures of interdisciplinarity—A tribute to Eugene Garfield

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-017-2528-2