References-Citations Relationship: Spurious? Perhaps. But It ’s Not Page Length.

Gregory Webster gdwebs at GMAIL.COM
Wed Aug 18 17:42:48 EDT 2010

The Scholarly Kitchen’s analysis of a smaller data set of Science
articles ( correctly highlights some
shortcomings of my preliminary research on the relationship between
references and citations covered in Nature News
( There are many unmeasured variables that could
potentially explain this association, and I remain skeptical about the
possibility of a causal relationship (

Nevertheless, in my data set of over 50,000 Science articles and
review articles from 1901 to 2000, the references-citations
relationship is unaffected by controlling for page length; the
correlation merely changes from .70 to .69 (

Because I am not an expert in bibliometrics, scientometrics, or
infometrics, I welcome any additional constructive criticism on this

Gregory D. Webster, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Acting Social Area Director
Department of Psychology
University of Florida
P.O. Box 112250
Gainesville, FL 32611-2250
Cell: 303-895-7312
Office: 352-273-2160
Fax: 352-392-7985


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