nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2018‒01‒22
one paper chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Individual and Field Citation Distributions in 29 Broad Scientific Fields By Costas, Rodrigo; Ruiz-Castillo Ucelay, Javier

  1. By: Costas, Rodrigo; Ruiz-Castillo Ucelay, Javier
    Abstract: Using a large unique dataset consisting of 35.1 million authors and 105.3 million articles published in the period 2000-2016, which are classified into 29 broad scientific fields, we search for regularities at the individual level for very productive authors with citation distributions of a certain size, and for the existence of a macro-micro relationship between the characteristics of a scientific field citation distribution and the characteristics of the individual citation distributions of the authors belonging to the field. Our main results are the following two. Firstly, although the skewness of individual citation distributions varies greatly within each field, their average skewness is of a similar order of magnitude in all fields. Secondly, as in the previous literature, field citation distributions are highly skewed and the degree of skewness is very similar across all fields. However, the typical pattern at the field level results from the combination of its basic skewness, solely dependent on the skewness at the individual level, and the heterogeneity of individuals with respect to the number of publications per author and their mean citation rates. These results have important conceptual and practical consequences: to understand the skewness of citation distributions at any aggregate level we must simply explain the skewness of the individual citation distributions of their very productive authors.
    Date: 2018–01–01

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