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Drivers of citations: An analysis of publications in “top” accounting journals

Matthias Meyer, Rüdiger W. Waldkirch, Irina Duscher and Alexander Just

CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, 2018, vol. 51, issue C, 24-46

Abstract: Citation counts are increasingly used to assess the impact and quality of articles, journals, researchers, and research institutions. At the same time, there is an ongoing debate about their usefulness as a performance measure. To understand the actual drivers of this measure in the accounting literature, we empirically investigated which factors affect the citation rates of publications in five “top“ journals of the field using a three-step regression to accommodate different theoretical perspectives on citations. Our results show that citation behavior is influenced by both article and author characteristics, suggesting that not only the universalistic but also the particularistic perspective on science is associated with citation behavior in the accounting field. Contrary to previous studies, we identify several particularistic variables as significant, relating to the visibility and position of researchers in the scientific system and to how they promote their research. In addition, the strong effects of the universalistic variables of subject area and research method point to the possibility that the use of citation counts for evaluating performance might create a bias in favor of certain types of research. Overall, our results should urge caution against the uncritical use of citation counts as an indicator of quality and a performance measure.

Keywords: Citations; Impact; Sociology of scientific knowledge; Particularism; Universalism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I23 M00 M4 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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