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Evaluating research institutions: the potential of the success-index

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Similarly to the h-index and other indicators, the success-index is a recent indicator that makes it possible to identify, among a general group of papers, those of greater citation impact. This indicator implements a field-normalization at the level of single paper and can therefore be applied to multidisciplinary groups of articles. Also, it is very practical for normalizations aimed at achieving the so-called size-independency. Thanks to these (and other) properties, this indicator is particularly versatile when evaluating the publication output of entire research institutions. This paper exemplifies the potential of the success-index by means of several practical applications, respectively: (i) comparison of groups of researchers within the same scientific field, but affiliated with different universities, (ii) comparison of different departments of the same university, and (iii) comparison of entire research institutions. A sensitivity analysis will highlight the success-index’s robustness. Empirical results suggest that the success-index may be conveniently extended to large-scale assessments, i.e., involving a large number of researchers and research institutions.

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    In Italy each university scientist belongs to one specific disciplinary sector, 370 in all. Complete list accessible at http://cercauniversita.cineca.it/php5/settori/index.php, last accessed on July, 2012.


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Correspondence to Domenico Maisano.

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Franceschini, F., Maisano, D. & Mastrogiacomo, L. Evaluating research institutions: the potential of the success-index. Scientometrics 96, 85–101 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-012-0887-2

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  • Success-index
  • Hirsch index
  • Field normalization
  • Citation propensity
  • Groups of researchers
  • Research institutions