C Varin, M Cattelan and D Firth
Statistical Modelling of Citation Exchange Among Statistics Journals
Abstract: Scholarly journal rankings based on citation data are often met with skepticism by the scientific community. Part of the skepticism is due to the discrepancy between the common perception of journals’ prestige and their ranking based on citation counts. A more serious concern is the inappropriate use of journal rankings to evaluate the scientific influence of authors. This paper focuses on analysis of the table of cross-citations among a selection of Statistics journals. Data are collected from the Web of Science® database published by Thomson Reuters. Our results suggest that modelling the exchange of citations between journals is useful to highlight the most prestigious journals, but also that journal citation data are characterized by considerable heterogeneity, which needs to be properly summarized. Inferential conclusions require care in order to avoid potential over-interpretation of insignificant differences between journal ratings.
Keywords: Bradley-Terry Model; Citation Data; Impact Factor; Journal Ranking; Research Evaluation.