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The use of percentiles and percentile rank classes in the analysis of bibliometric data: Opportunities and limits

Lutz Bornmann (), Loet Leydesdorff () and Rüdiger Mutz

Journal of Informetrics, 2013, vol. 7, issue 1, 158-165

Abstract: Percentiles have been established in bibliometrics as an important alternative to mean-based indicators for obtaining a normalized citation impact of publications. Percentiles have a number of advantages over standard bibliometric indicators used frequently: for example, their calculation is not based on the arithmetic mean which should not be used for skewed bibliometric data. This study describes the opportunities and limits and the advantages and disadvantages of using percentiles in bibliometrics. We also address problems in the calculation of percentiles and percentile rank classes for which there is not (yet) a satisfactory solution. It will be hard to compare the results of different percentile-based studies with each other unless it is clear that the studies were done with the same choices for percentile calculation and rank assignment.

Keywords: Percentile; Percentile rank class; Citation impact; Reference set; Normalized citation impact (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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