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Scientific Production and Productivity for Characterizing an Author’s Publication History: Simple and Nested Gini’s and Hirsch’s Indexes Combined

Fabio Zagonari ()
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Fabio Zagonari: Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Università di Bologna, via Angherà 22, 47921 Rimini, Italy

Publications, 2019, vol. 7, issue 2, 1-30

Abstract: In this study, I developed operational versions of Gini’s and Hirsch’s indexes that can be applied to characterize each researcher’s publication history (PH) as heterodox, orthodox, and interdisciplinary. In addition, the new indicators warn against anomalies that potentially arise from tactical or opportunistic citation and publication behaviors by authors and editors, and can be calculated from readily available information. I split the original Hirsch index into nested indexes to isolate networking activity, as well as to distinguish scientific production (number of articles) from scientific productivity (rate of production), and used nested Gini indexes to identify intentional and successful intertopical and interdisciplinary research. I applied the most popular standardizations (i.e., per author and per year), and used simple methodologies (i.e., least-squares linear and cubic fitting, whole-career vs. subperiods, two-dimensional graphs). I provide three representative numerical examples based on an orthodox multidisciplinary PH, a heterodox PH from the social sciences, and an orthodox unidisciplinary PH from the physical sciences. Two additional numerical examples based on PHs from the life and health sciences show that the suggested PH characterization can be applied to different disciplines where different publication and citation practices prevail. Software is provided to help readers explore the use of these indicators.

Keywords: bibliometric ranking; scientific productivity; scientific production; H index; interdisciplinary research; heterodox research (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A2 D83 L82 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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