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A novel approach to citation normalization: a similarity-based method for creating reference sets
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. (Inforsk)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7653-4004
2015 (English)In: Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, ISSN 2330-1635, E-ISSN 2330-1643, Vol. 66, no 3, 489-500 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A similarity-oriented approach for deriving reference values used in citation normalization is explored and contrasted with the dominant approach of utilizing database-defined journal sets as a basis for deriving such values. In the similarity-oriented approach, an assessed article's raw citation count is compared with a reference value that is derived from a reference set, which is constructed in such a way that articles in this set are estimated to address a subject matter similar to that of the assessed article. This estimation is based on second-order similarity and utilizes a combination of 2 feature sets: bibliographic references and technical terminology. The contribution of an article in a given reference set to the reference value is dependent on its degree of similarity to the assessed article. It is shown that reference values calculated by the similarity-oriented approach are considerably better at predicting the assessed articles' citation count compared to the reference values given by the journal-set approach, thus significantly reducing the variability in the observed citation distribution that stems from the variability in the articles' addressed subject matter.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2015. Vol. 66, no 3, 489-500 p.
Keyword [en]
bibliometrics, scientometrics, citation analysis, normalized citation impact, similarity measures
National Category
Information Studies
Research subject
biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-88877DOI: 10.1002/asi.23193ISI: 000350100500005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-88877DiVA: diva2:717780
Available from: 2014-05-16 Created: 2014-05-16 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Science mapping and research evaluation: a novel methodology for creating normalized citation indicators and estimating their stability
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Science mapping and research evaluation: a novel methodology for creating normalized citation indicators and estimating their stability
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis is to contribute to the methodology at the intersection of relational and evaluative bibliometrics. Experimental investigations are presented that address the question of how we can most successfully produce estimates of the subject similarity between documents. The results from these investigations are then explored in the context of citation-based research evaluations in an effort to enhance existing citation normalization methods that are used to enable comparisons of subject-disparate documents with respect to their relative impact or perceived utility. This thesis also suggests and explores an approach for revealing the uncertainty and stability (or lack thereof) coupled with different kinds of citation indicators.This suggestion is motivated by the specific nature of the bibliographic data and the data collection process utilized in citation-based evaluation studies.

The results of these investigations suggest that similarity-detection methods that take a global view of the problem of identifying similar documents are more successful in solving the problem than conventional methods that are more local in scope. These results are important for all applications that require subject similarity estimates between documents. Here these insights are specifically adopted in an effort to create a novel citation normalization approach that – compared to current best practice – is more in tune with the idea of controlling for subject matter when thematically different documents are assessed with respect to impact or perceived utility. The normalization approach is flexible with respect to the size of the normalization baseline and enables a fuzzy partition of the scientific literature. It is shown that this approach is more successful than currently applied normalization approaches in reducing the variability in the observed citation distribution that stems from the variability in the articles’ addressed subject matter. In addition, the suggested approach can enhance the interpretability of normalized citation counts. Finally, the proposed method for assessing the stability of citation indicators stresses that small alterations that could be artifacts from the data collection and preparation steps can have a significant influence on the picture that is painted by the citationindicator. Therefore, providing stability intervals around derived indicators prevents unfounded conclusions that otherwise could have unwanted policy implications.

Together, the new normalization approach and the method for assessing the stability of citation indicators have the potential to enable fairer bibliometric evaluative exercises and more cautious interpretations of citation indicators.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2014. 37 p.
Series
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Sociologiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 1104-2508 ; 76
Keyword
document-document similarity, science mapping, citation analysis, citation normalization, stability analysis, citation impact, research evaluation
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Information Studies
Research subject
biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-94189 (URN)978-91-7601-134-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-10-31, Hörsal 1031, Norra Beteendevetarhuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-10-10 Created: 2014-10-06 Last updated: 2015-04-01Bibliographically approved

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