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Normalization of zero-inflated data: An empirical analysis of a new indicator family and its use with altmetrics data

Lutz Bornmann () and Robin Haunschild

Journal of Informetrics, 2018, vol. 12, issue 3, 998-1011

Abstract: Recently, two new indicators (Equalized Mean-based Normalized Proportion Cited, EMNPC; Mean-based Normalized Proportion Cited, MNPC) were proposed which are intended for sparse scientometrics data, e.g., alternative metrics (altmetrics). The indicators compare the proportion of mentioned papers (e.g. on Facebook) of a unit (e.g., a researcher or institution) with the proportion of mentioned papers in the corresponding fields and publication years (the expected values). In this study, we propose a third indicator (Mantel-Haenszel quotient, MHq) belonging to the same indicator family. The MHq is based on the MH analysis – an established method in statistics for the comparison of proportions. We test (using citations and assessments by peers, i.e. F1000Prime recommendations) if the three indicators can distinguish between different quality levels as defined on the basis of the assessments by peers. Thus, we test their convergent validity. We find that the indicator MHq is able to distinguish between the quality levels in most cases while MNPC and EMNPC are not. Since the MHq is shown in this study to be a valid indicator, we apply it to six types of zero-inflated altmetrics data and test whether different altmetrics sources are related to quality. The results for the various altmetrics demonstrate that the relationship between altmetrics (Wikipedia, Facebook, blogs, and news data) and assessments by peers is not as strong as the relationship between citations and assessments by peers. Actually, the relationship between citations and peer assessments is about two to three times stronger than the association between altmetrics and assessments by peers.

Keywords: Zero-inflated data; Citation counts; Altmetrics; Equalized Mean-based Normalized Proportion Cited (EMNPC); Mean-based Normalized Proportion Cited (MNPC); Mantel-Haenszel quotient (MHq) (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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