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The citation merit of scientific publications

By Juan A. Crespo, Ignacio Ortuño Ortíz and Javier Ruiz-Castillo

Abstract

We propose a new method to assess the merit of any set of scientific papers in a given field based on the citations they receive. Given a citation indicator, such as the mean citation or the h-index, we identify the merit of a given set of n articles with the probability that a randomly drawn sample of n articles from a reference set of articles in that field presents a lower citation index. The method allows for comparisons between research units of different sizes and fields. Using a dataset acquired from Thomson Scientific that contains the articles published in the periodical literature in the period 1998-2007, we show that the novel approach yields rankings of research units different from those obtained by a direct application of the mean citation or the h-index.Citation analysis, Citation merit, Mean citation, h-index

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