- Macro-indicators of citation impacts of six prolific countries: InCites data and the statistical significance of trends
- PLoS One
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- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
Using the InCites tool of Thomson Reuters, this study compares normalized citation impact values calculated for China, Japan, France, Germany, United States, and the UK throughout the time period from 1981 to 2010. InCites offers a unique opportunity to study the normalized citation impacts of countries using (i) a long publication window (1981 to 2010), (ii) a differentiation in (broad or more narrow) subject areas, and (iii) allowing for the use of statistical procedures in order to obtain an insightful investigation of national citation trends across the years. Using four broad categories, our results show significantly increasing trends in citation impact values for France, the UK, and especially Germany across the last thirty years in all areas. The citation impact of papers from China is still at a relatively low level (mostly below the world average), but the country follows an increasing trend line. The USA exhibits a stable pattern of high citation impact values across the years. With small impact differences between the publication years, the US trend is increasing in engineering and
technology but decreasing in medical and health sciences as well as in agricultural sciences. Similar to the USA, Japan follows increasing as well as decreasing trends in different subject areas, but the variability across the years is small. In most of the years, papers from Japan perform below or approximately at the world average in each subject area.
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