A multidimensional perspective on the citation impact of scientific publications

01/28/2019 ∙ by Yi Bu, et al. ∙ 0

The citation impact of scientific publications is usually seen as a one-dimensional concept. We introduce a three-dimensional perspective on the citation impact of publications. In addition to the level of citation impact, quantified by the number of citations received by a publication, we also conceptualize and operationalize the depth and dependence of citation impact. This enables us to make a distinction between publications that have a deep impact concentrated in one specific field of research and publications that have a broad impact scattered over different research fields. It also allows us to distinguish between publications that are strongly dependent on earlier work and publications that make a more independent scientific contribution. We present a large-scale empirical analysis of the level, depth, and dependence of the citation impact of publications. In addition, we report a case study focusing on publications in the field of scientometrics. Our three-dimensional citation impact framework provides a more detailed understanding of the citation impact of a publication than a traditional one-dimensional perspective.

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