Statistical modelling of citation exchange between statistics journals

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Rankings of scholarly journals based on citation data are often met with scepticism by the scientific community. Part of the scepticism is due to disparity between the common perception of journals' prestige and their ranking based on citation counts. A more serious concern is the inappropriate use of journal rankings to evaluate the scientific influence of researchers. The paper focuses on analysis of the table of cross-citations among a selection of statistics journals. Data are collected from the Web of Science database published by Thomson Reuters. Our results suggest that modelling the exchange of citations between journals is useful to highlight the most prestigious journals, but also that journal citation data are characterized by considerable heterogeneity, which needs to be properly summarized. Inferential conclusions require care to avoid potential overinterpretation of insignificant differences between journal ratings. Comparison with published ratings of institutions from the UK's research assessment exercise shows strong correlation at aggregate level between assessed research quality and journal citation 'export scores' within the discipline of statistics.




Varin, C., Cattelan, M., & Firth, D. (2016). Statistical modelling of citation exchange between statistics journals. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A: Statistics in Society, 179(1), 1–63.

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