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Regular version of the site

Book chapter

Stakes are higher, risk is lower: Citation distributions are more equal in high quality journals

P. 55-63.

Several recent bibliometrics studies have reignited the well-known debates initiated more than twenty years ago by vivid works of Per Seglen (1992; 1994; 1997). The question is whether impact factor may represent not only the citedness of a journal as a whole, but also give some estimate of individual papers’ quality published in it (different views: Larivière et al., 2016; Zhang, Rousseau & Sivertsen, 2017; Waltman & Traag, 2017; Pudovkin, 2018). This is an important and profound theme of interrelation between a part and a whole, their mutual dependency and the limits of this dependency.


To explore this research question, we analyze correlation between the average (in our case, journal impact factor, IF) and the amplitude of oscillations/deviations around this average (citations received by individual papers in the journal). This is, so to say, “indicators of the second order”, we measure the digression of the citations received by individual papers from the journal’s average.


In book

Edited by: R. Costas, T. Franssen, A. Yegros-Yegros. Leiden: Universiteit Leiden - CWTS, 2018.