Early citation advantage?

Stevan Harnad harnad at ECS.SOTON.AC.UK
Thu Jun 22 01:09:05 EDT 2006

Yes, this sort of intelligent transformation and weighting is
precisely what the process of validating evaluative scientometrics is
all about. The process is very similar to psychometrics, as in
validating intelligence tests or neuropsychological tests of brain
injury: Tests and test items are constructed, included, excluded or
weighted according to the degree to which they correlate with the
criterion that we are trying to measure or predict. No, this is not
circular. In the case of intelligence, for example, we have the fact
that when a younger child can do things only an older child can
usually do ("IQ"), it tends to mean the child is more intelligent; or
we may have a face-valid later-performance index of intelligence,
against which we can then validate early predictors. Same with brain
injury: We pick test items that correlate selectively with later
(surgical or autopsy  -- or, these days, neural imagery) evidence of
brain injury and its localisation.

The trouble with scientometrics (and sometimes also psychometrics) is
that we tend to construct or derive the metric but never bother going
through the step of validating it! We just baptize it as having face
validity. With pure quantity measures such as publication counts,
this might possibly be legitimate (if we really which to treat
publications as products, and ends in themselves.) But starting
already with citations, validating needs to be done. Metrics cannot
be declared valid by a-priori fiat.

(Having said that, I have no doubt that citation counts, co-citation
counts, hub/authority measures. endogamy.exogamy measures,
recursively weighted citation counts, field-normalised citation
counts, downloads,  download/citation latency measures, and many
other scientometric measures can and will be successfully validated
against the kinds of things we want them to correlate with and
predict. But adjustment and weighting by domain will no doubt be a
big factor in metric validation too.)

Stevan Harnad

On 21-Jun-06, at 11:51 PM, K.S. Chudamani wrote:

> Adminstrative info for SIGMETRICS (for example unsubscribe):
> http://web.utk.edu/~gwhitney/sigmetrics.html
> Citation has many flaws. May be a subject of current or potential
> interest
> may get more citations where as low interest areas may get low
> citations
> how to balance these two. May be by defininf a variable which
> divides low
> impact articles cited by their subject impact factors which may
> have  to
> be defined
> Chudamani
> On Wed, 21 Jun 2006, Ian Rowlands wrote:
>> Adminstrative info for SIGMETRICS (for example unsubscribe):
>> http://web.utk.edu/~gwhitney/sigmetrics.html
>> Thanks for that Stephen, I guess, having thought about it a bit more
>> that there
>> are semantic problems here.  In the case of a gold OA journal vs a
>> traditional
>> tolled journal, I would be hard pressed to see a plausible cause and
>> effect for
>> an early OA citation advantage. If anyone could advise on this I
>> would be very
>> grateful.
>> Perhaps this is an issue specific to the green OA route.  If I
>> finish a paper
>> today and seek publication through a traditional tolled journal
>> and take no
>> further action, I might well expect to see it published and date
>> stamped in
>> 2007.  If I self- or institutionally archive the preprint, that
>> version would
>> be date stamped today, 2006.  That version might well be cited,
>> giving me an
>> apparent advantage over peers in the same issue who did not
>> archive.  This
>> might explain the claimed temporal advantage.
>> It might also be an argument FOR PUBLISHERS to encourage self-
>> archiving
>> to help
>> to up their ISI immediacy index (but it would only work in cases
>> where the
>> formal publication happened to fall in the next calendar year).
>> Certainly your suggestion of comparing immediacy indexes for sets
>> of (gold) IA
>> and tolled articles would be very interesting.
>> Ian
>> Quoting Stephen J Bensman <notsjb at LSU.EDU>:
>>> Adminstrative info for SIGMETRICS (for example unsubscribe):
>>> http://web.utk.edu/~gwhitney/sigmetrics.html
>>> If you can define a large enough subject set covered by the SCI
>>> or SSCI JCR
>>> and containing large enough subsets of both "tolled access"
>>> journals and
>>> "open access" journals, I would suggest some sort of comparison
>>> of means
>>> test on the immediacy indexes of the two subsets.
>>> SB
>>> Ian Rowlands <i.rowlands at UCL.AC.UK>@LISTSERV.UTK.EDU> on 06/21/2006
>>> 01:17:24 PM
>>> Please respond to ASIS&T Special Interest Group on Metrics
>>> Sent by:    ASIS&T Special Interest Group on Metrics
>>> cc:     (bcc: Stephen J Bensman/notsjb/LSU)
>>> Subject:    [SIGMETRICS] Early citation advantage?
>>> Adminstrative info for SIGMETRICS (for example unsubscribe):
>>> http://web.utk.edu/~gwhitney/sigmetrics.html
>>> Several recent studies (e.g. Thomson Scientific, Eysenbach) have
>>> indicated
>>> that
>>> open access articles are more likely to be cited sooner than
>>> tolled access
>>> articles.  This is an argument that, on the face of it, provides
>>> a powerful
>>> argument for open access: it speeds up scientific workflow.  Can
>>> anyone
>>> supply
>>> a testable hypothesis for this?  I can quite easily understand
>>> how open
>>> access
>>> leads to MOPE use, thus higher citation.  But speedier citation?
>>> What are
>>> the
>>> plausible cause and effect arguments here?
>>> Ian Rowlands
>>> UCL Centre for Publishing
>>> www.publishing.ucl.ac.uk
>> Dr Ian Rowlands
>> Director of Research, UCL Centre for Publishing
>> www.publishing.ucl.ac.uk

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