Assessing impact and quality from local dynamics of citation networks

Abstract : We show that essentially local dynamics of citation networks bring special information about the relevance/quality of a paper. Up to some rescaling, they exhibit universal behavior in citation dynamics: temporal patterns are remarkably consistent across disciplines, and uncover a prediction method for citations based on the structure of references only, at publication time. Above-average cited papers universally focus extensively on their own recent subfield - as such, citation counts essentially select what may plausibly be considered as the most disciplinary and normal science; whereas papers which have a peculiar dynamics, such as re-birthing scientific works - 'rediscovered classics' or 'early birds' - are comparatively poorly cited, despite their plausible relevance for the underlying communities. The "rebirth index" that we propose to quantify this phenomenon may be used as a complementary quality-defining criterion, in addition to final citation counts.
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Camille Roth, Jiang Wu, Sergi Lozano. Assessing impact and quality from local dynamics of citation networks. Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, 2012, 6 (1), pp.111-120. <10.1016/j.joi.2011.08.005>. <halshs-00778517>

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