The growing importance of citation-based bibliometric indicators in shaping the prospects of academic careers incentivizes scientists to boost the numbers of citations they receive. Whereas the exploitation of self-citations has been extensively documented, the impact of reciprocated citations has not yet been studied. We study reciprocity in a citation network of authors, and compare it with the average reciprocity computed in an ensemble of null network models. We show that obtaining citations through reciprocity correlates negatively with an impactful career in the long term. Nevertheless, at the aggregate level we show evidence of a steady increase in reciprocity over the years, largely fuelled by the citations reciprocated between coauthors. Our results characterize the structure of author networks in a time of increasing emphasis on citation-based indicators, and we discuss their implications towards a fairer assessment of academic impact.

Reciprocity and impact in academic careers

Livan G.
2019-01-01

Abstract

The growing importance of citation-based bibliometric indicators in shaping the prospects of academic careers incentivizes scientists to boost the numbers of citations they receive. Whereas the exploitation of self-citations has been extensively documented, the impact of reciprocated citations has not yet been studied. We study reciprocity in a citation network of authors, and compare it with the average reciprocity computed in an ensemble of null network models. We show that obtaining citations through reciprocity correlates negatively with an impactful career in the long term. Nevertheless, at the aggregate level we show evidence of a steady increase in reciprocity over the years, largely fuelled by the citations reciprocated between coauthors. Our results characterize the structure of author networks in a time of increasing emphasis on citation-based indicators, and we discuss their implications towards a fairer assessment of academic impact.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1490736
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 18
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 18
social impact