Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Using a large data set, indexed by Thomson Reuters, consisting of 4.4 million articles published in 1998&-2003 with a 5-year citation window for each year, this article studies country citation distributions for a partitioning of the world into 36 countries and two geographical areas in eight broad scientific fields and the all-sciences case. The two key findings are the following. First, country citation distributions are highly skewed and very similar to each other in all fields. Second, to a large extent, differences in country citation distributions can be accounted for by scale factors. The Empirical situation described in the article helps to understand why international comparisons of citation impact according to (a) mean citations and (b) the percentage of articles in each country belonging to the top 10% of the most cited articles are so similar to each other.
normalization procedures; field normalization; indicators; distributions; systems; nations