Morris, Steven (BA) Steven.Morris at BAKERHUGHES.COM
Tue Jan 30 13:44:39 EST 2007

Ali's paper is nicely done, and study should be easy to duplicate and
extend in a couple of different ways. Particularly, it would be
interesting to see how the number of references correlates to citations
received in other fields. Much of scientometrics borders on slow-moving
social science concepts where the knowledge doesn't cumulate quickly.
How do things correlate in fast moving specialties undergoing rapid
knowledge cumulation and specialization, e.g., biomedicine or certain
areas in physics. 


The thing I find curious about the study is that there is a large number
of papers, 30%, that have fewer than 10 references. One would think that
these would be maybe short communications or letters, rather than full
papers. I think it would be interesting to examine a few of those low
reference count papers and summarize their characteristics.  Also, the
process by which the papers are classed as letters, articles, and
reviews may have some flaws. Who decides?  It's probably the editor's
decision, and it may not be so easy to do.  After all, a paper can
include a fairly substantial literature review, as well as original
information --  is it a review? .. or an article?


Another thing that would be interesting to see would be a scatter plot
of the 467 articles with number of references on the x axis, and number
of citations received on the y axis along with the line of fit.  Such a
visual presentation really helps to assess the 'goodness' of the
correlation that is being established, and usually shows if outliers are
adversely affecting the analysis. 


Below shows a histogram of papers binned according to the number of
references that they cite, taken from a collection of 'all papers from
the journal Scientometrics plus all papers that cite a paper from
Scientometrics."  The data was gathered from WOS in 2005. I think that
about half the papers in the collection are from Scientometrics, while
the rest are from other journals. Without a cumulative plot, it's hard
to tell, but it could be that the 30% percentile occurs at about 10
papers. I've fitted a lognormal distribution to the data, which has a
mode of about 19 papers, which, for this distribution, probably works
out to a mean 25 references per paper.  Is it possible that the
quartiles of this distribution could be used to discriminate short
communications from articles from reviews?







Steven A. Morris, Ph.D

Electrical Engineer V, Technology Development Group


Houston Technology Center

2001 Rankin Road, Houston, Texas 77073

Office: 713-625-5055, Cell: 405-269-6576



-----Original Message-----
From: ASIS&T Special Interest Group on Metrics
[mailto:SIGMETRICS at LISTSERV.UTK.EDU] On Behalf Of Stephen J Bensman
Sent: Monday, January 29, 2007 8:34 AM
Subject: Re: [SIGMETRICS] question



That is very interesting.  Something I would not expect.  It does

Narin.  Can you send me an electronic version of your article to

notsjb at  Do you have any idea why there is such a relationship?







ali uzun <azun at METU.EDU.TR>@LISTSERV.UTK.EDU> on 01/29/2007 01:44:05 AM


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:    Re: [SIGMETRICS] question


------Dear Ronald,

A sample of 467 artiles (not including reviews) published from 1999 to

2003 in the journal Scientometrics has shown that there is a linear

correlation (correlation coefficient of 0.799) between the number of

times an article is cited and the number of references it contains.

This was supported by a Chi-Square test of independence between the

two indicators at 0.01 level of significance (Uzun, A. (2006).

Proceedings of the International Workshop on Webometrics, Informetrics

and Scientometrics, 87-91,10-12 May 2006, Nancy-France).

> Adminstrative info for SIGMETRICS (for example unsubscribe):



> Dear colleagues,


> Is there a positive correlation between the length of a reference

list of a

> publication and the number of citations received? Is this true (or

not) in

> general, i.e. considering all types of publication? And what if one


> considers 'normal articles', this is when reviews and letters (and

other short

> communications) are not taken into account?


> Can someone point me to a reference?


> Thanks!


> Ronald



> --

> Ronald Rousseau

> KHBO (Association K.U.Leuven)- Industrial Sciences and Technology

> Zeedijk 101    B-8400  Oostende   Belgium

> Guest Professor at the Antwerp University School for Library and


>    Science (UA - IBW)

> E-mail: ronald.rousseau at

> web page:




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