, Volume 103, Issue 1, pp 1–31 | Cite as

Ranking and identifying influential scientists versus mass producers by the Perfectionism Index

  • Antonis SidiropoulosEmail author
  • Dimitrios Katsaros
  • Yannis Manolopoulos


The concept of h-index has been proposed to easily assess a researcher’s performance with a single number. However, by using only this number, we lose significant information about the distribution of citations per article in an author’s publication list. In this article, we study an author’s citation curve and we define two new areas related to this curve. We call these “penalty areas”, since the greater they are, the more an author’s performance is penalized. We exploit these areas to establish new indices, namely Perfectionism Index and eXtreme Perfectionism Index (XPI), aiming at categorizing researchers in two distinct categories: “influentials” and “mass producers”; the former category produces articles which are (almost all) with high impact, and the latter category produces a lot of articles with moderate or no impact at all. Using data from Microsoft Academic Service, we evaluate the merits mainly of PI as a useful tool for scientometric studies. We establish its effectiveness into separating the scientists into influentials and mass producers; we demonstrate its robustness against self-citations, and its uncorrelation to traditional indices. Finally, we apply PI to rank prominent scientists in the areas of databases, networks and multimedia, exhibiting the strength of the index in fulfilling its design goal.


Ranking h-Index Citation analysis Bibliometrics 



The authors wish to thank Professor Sofia Kouidou, Vice-rector of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, for stating the basic question that led to the present research.

The authors would also wish to thank Professor Vana Doufexi for reviewing and editing the final release of this article.

The offer of Microsoft to provide gratis their database API is appreciated.

Finally, D.Katsaros acknowledges the support of the Research Committee of the University of Thessaly through the project “Web observatory for research activities in the University of Thessaly”.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information TechnologyAlexander Technological Educational Institute of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of ThessalyThessalyGreece
  3. 3.Department of InformaticsAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece

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