The “space of physics journals”: topological structure and the Journal Impact Factor
The empirical distribution function of citations to journal articles (EDF for short) can become fundamental tool for analyzing the scientific journals. Endeavors at making bibliometric analysis independent of the intuition conveyed by average citation levels have led us to the study of qualitative properties of physics journals in the functional space of EDFs. We show that the structure of this space establishes the connections and relationships that determine the essential features of physics journals. The research provides an analysis of 240 physics journals indexed in Journal Citation Reports 2015. The relevance of EDFs clustering is discussed. Our findings reveal four-cluster space of physics journals. The space brings to light the essential distinctions between physics journals and shows different level of influence of scientific publishers belonging to different types (professional physics societies, transnational and local publishers). The study of EDFs grouped by publishers reveals two binary oppositions that structure relations between them: ``global --- local'' publishers and ``high cited\,--- low cited'' publishers.