, Volume 109, Issue 3, pp 1711–1724 | Cite as

The dispersion of the citation distribution of top scientists’ publications

  • Giovanni Abramo
  • Ciriaco Andrea D’Angelo
  • Anastasiia Soldatenkova


This work explores the distribution of citations for the publications of top scientists. A first objective is to find out whether the 80–20 Pareto rule applies, that is if 80 % of the citations to a top scientist’s work concern 20 % of their publications. Observing that the rule does not apply, we also measure the dispersion of the citation distribution by means of the Gini coefficient. Further, we investigate the question of what share of a top scientist’ publications go uncited. Finally, we study the relation between the dispersion of the citation distribution and the share of uncited publications. As well as the overall level, the analyses are carried out at the field and discipline level, to assess differences across them.


Bibliometrics Research evaluation Italy University Pareto Gini 


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanni Abramo
    • 1
  • Ciriaco Andrea D’Angelo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anastasiia Soldatenkova
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory for Studies of Research Evaluation Institute for System Analysis and Computer Science (IASI-CNR)National Research Council of ItalyRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Engineering and ManagementUniversity of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’RomeItaly

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