Scientometrics

, Volume 77, Issue 1, pp 41–60 | Cite as

Patterns of annual citation of highly cited articles and the prediction of their citation ranking: A comparison across subjects

Article

Abstract

High citation is associated with research quality and consequently findings on highly cited articles are useful to increase understanding of the factors that produce high quality research. This study explores highly cited articles in six subjects, focusing on late citation and peak citation years. Longitudinal citation patterns were found to be highly varied and, on average, different from the remaining articles in each subject. For four of the six subjects, there is a correlation of over 0.42 between the percentage of early citations and total citation ranking but more highly ranked articles had a lower percentage of early citations. Surprisingly, for highly cited articles in all six subjects the prediction of citation ranking of from the sum of citations during their first six years was less accurate than prediction using the sum of the citations for only the fifth and sixth year.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adams, J. (2005), Early citation counts correlate with accumulated impact. Scientometrics, 63 (3): 567–581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aksnes, D. W. (2003), Characteristics of highly cited papers. Research Evaluation, 12 (3): 159–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aversa, E. S. (1985), Citation patterns of highly cited papers and their relationship to literature aging: A study of the working literature. Scientometrics, 7 (3–6): 383–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Burrell, Q. L. (2005), Are “sleeping beauties” to be expected? Scientometrics, 65 (3): 381–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cano, V., Lind, N. C. (1991), Citation life-cycles of 10 citation-classics. Scientometrics, 22 (2): 297–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Garfield, E. (1973), From obliteration to immortality. Current Contents, (45): 391–392.Google Scholar
  7. Garfield, E. (1975), The ‘obliteration phenomenon’ in science-and the advantage of being obliterated! Current Contents, (51/52): 5–7.Google Scholar
  8. Garfield, E. (1985)A, The articles most cited in the SCI from 1961 to 1982. 7. Another 100 citation-classics-the Watson-Crick double helix has its turn. Current Contents, (20): 3–12.Google Scholar
  9. Garfield, E. (1985)B, The articles most cited in the SCI from 1961 to 1982. 8. Ninety-eight more classic papers from unimolecular reaction velocities to natural opiates-the changing frontiers of science. Current Contents, (33): 3–11.Google Scholar
  10. Garfield, E. (1980), Premature discovery or delayed recognition-Why? Current Contents, (26): 5–10.Google Scholar
  11. Glänzel, W., Garfield, E. (2005), The myth of delayed recognition. The Scientist: 18 (11): 8.Google Scholar
  12. Glänzel, W., Schlemmer, B., Thijs, B. (2003), Better late than never? On the chance to become highly cited only beyond the standard bibliometric time horizon. Scientometrics, 58 (3): 571–586.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Levitt, J. M., Thelwall, M. (2007), The most highly cited Library and Information Science articles: Interdisciplinarity, first authors and citation patterns. Submitted for publication. Available online at http://www.scit.wlv.ac.uk/~cm1993/highly_cited_LIS.doc
  14. Mccain, K. W. (2007), Analysing Influence Over Time: An Historiographic Mapping of the Research of Conrad Hal Waddington (1905–1975). Proceedings International Conference of the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics: 11th, Madrid (Spain).Google Scholar
  15. Mccain, K. W., Turner, K. (1989), Citation context analysis and aging patterns of journal articles in Molecular Genetics. Scientometrics, 17 (1–2): 127–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Merton, R. K. (1968), On the Shoulders of Giants: A Shandean Postscript. New York: Harcourt Brace & World.Google Scholar
  17. Van Dalen, H. P., Henkens, K. (2005), Signals in science-On the importance of signaling in gaining attention in science. Scientometrics, 64 (2): 209–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Van Raan, A. F. J. (2004), Sleeping Beauties in science. Scientometrics, 59 (3): 467–472.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group, School of Computing and Information TechnologyUniversity of WolverhamptonWolverhamptonUK
  2. 2.Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group, School of Computing and Information TechnologyUniversity of WolverhamptonWolverhamptonUK

Personalised recommendations