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A Comparison of Citer and Citation-based Measure Outcomes in the Social Sciences

Isola Ajiferuke, Kun Lu and Dietmar Wolfram

(Submission #20)


In this study, we outline a novel approach to the study of research impact based on the number of unique individuals who have cited a given author, as opposed to the more traditional measure of citations. The rationale for exploring the potential value of citer-based analysis can be seen by example. Two prolific scholars may cite one another frequently. This can result in high citation counts for both scholars. However, do these counts represent a broad reach of each scholarís research? Similarly, is the impact of a scholar who receives one citation each from ten different authors equivalent to that of a scholar who receives ten citations to the same publication from a single author? We propose that the larger the number of people who have been influenced by a work--that is who have cited a work--the more influential that work is. The specific research question examined is: How do citer-based measures of research correlate with more traditional citation-based measures in the social sciences for highly cited researchers?

We report the results of an analysis of citer and citation-based measures. Data for twenty-five randomly selected social science researchers included in Thomson/ISIís Web of Science were tabulated and compared. The findings indicate that there are strong positive correlations between most citation and citer-based measures. However, this is not always the case, as the non-significant correlation between Ch-index and the more established measure of citation count shows.

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