The Citation Merit of Scientific Publications Articles uri icon

publication date

  • November 2012


  • 7

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1932-6203


  • 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 field and a citation impact indicator, such as the mean citation or the h-index, the merit of a given set of n articles is identified with the probability that a randomly drawn set of n articles from a given pool of articles in that field has a lower citation impact according to the indicator in question. The method allows for comparisons between sets of articles 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.