Extreme inequalities of citation counts in environmental sciences [post]

Deepthi Chimalakonda, Alex R Cook, L Roman Carrasco
2014 unpublished
Well-established scientists are expected to be more likely to have their work recognised than early-career individuals and thus receive more citations. Estimating the degree of inequality in citation counts in environmental sciences can help identify the dynamics behind citation inequalities. Using the scientific profiles of researchers in the Google Scholar database, we estimated the inequality in the distribution of citations in the disciplines of evolutionary biology, conservation biology
more » ... ervation biology and ecology. The data were modelled using short-tailed (exponential) and long-tailed power-law (Pareto) distributions. The inequality in performance in each distribution was assessed using Gini coefficients. Citations counts per researcher presented Gini coefficients of 0.83–0.84, indicating extreme inequality. The results suggest that the reinforcement in citation counts due to seniority and previous success might be very strong. To produce meaningful comparisons of actual research impact using citation counts, factors such as lab size, collaborations or role in articles should ideally be controlled for.
doi:10.7287/peerj.preprints.265v1 fatcat:fgubsighz5drbehiz5ko6nhwoq