, Volume 87, Issue 3, pp 683–685 | Cite as

The impact factor rank-order distribution revisited

  • L. Egghe

There is some controversy around the impact factor (IF) rank-order distribution. The controversy is around the shape of the IF-rank-order distribution. In some articles (Lancho-Barrantes et al. 2010; Guerrero-Bote et al. 2007) one claims examples of convexly decreasing IF-rank-order distributions, while in other contributions the S-shape (first convex, then concave) is advocated (Mansilla et al. 2007; Martinez-Mekler et al. 2009; Campanario 2010a,b; Egghe 2009). Egghe and Waltman (2011) show both shapes.

The difference between the two shapes can be explained through the size-frequency distribution of impact factors. To be as clear as possible we will repeat here the definitions of rank-order distributions and size-frequency distributions. They can be given in a general context of sources and items (Egghe 2005) but since, in this note we are only interested in the journal-IF relation, we will, mainly, use this terminology.

Let us have a set of journals (e.g. in a certain field), each...


Gaussian Distribution Visual Inspection Impact Factor Number Theory Inverse Function 
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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universiteit Hasselt (Uhasselt)DiepenbeekBelgium
  2. 2.Universiteit Antwerpen (UA)AntwerpenBelgium

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