[Oa-italia] PLOS one pubblica un report su metodo matematico per valutare le riviste scientifiche

Paola Gargiulo paola.gargiulo a caspur.it
Sab 1 Mar 2008 13:33:12 CET

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PLoS ONE publishes report on mathematical method to rank scientific 
journals - 29 Feb 2008

A team of researchers from Northwestern University has reportedly 
developed a mathematical method to rank scientific journals according to 
their quality. This approach is projected to help scientists locate 
high-impact research papers to read and to cite in their own papers.

The team analysed the citation data of nearly 23 million papers that 
appeared in 2,267 journals representing 200 academic fields and that 
spanned the years 1955- 2006. Their analysis produced 200 separate 
tables of journal rankings by field. The results, including all the 
rankings, is published online in PLoS ONE, an international, 
peer-reviewed, open access, online journal published by the Public 
Library of Science.

The study was led by Luís A. Nunes Amaral, associate professor of 
chemical and biological engineering in Northwestern’s McCormick School 
of Engineering and Applied Science. Amaral and his team developed 
methods to look at the enormous amount of published papers and to make 
sense of them. For each of the 2,267 journals, they charted the 
citations each paper received across a certain span of years and then 
developed a model of that data, which allowed the researchers to compare 
journals. The researchers’ model produced bell curves for the 
distribution of “quality” of the papers published in each journal. For 
each field, all the bell curves for the journals then were compared, 
which resulted in the journal rankings.

The researchers found that the time scale for a published paper’s 
complete accumulation of citations -- a gauge for determining the full 
impact of the paper - can range from less than one year to 26 years, 
depending on the journal. Using their new method, the researchers can 
estimate the total number of citations a paper will get in the future 
and thus determine - right now - the paper’s likely impact in its field. 
This is the kind of information university administrators and funding 
agencies should find helpful when they are evaluating faculty members 
for tenure and researchers for grant awards.

Paola Gargiulo
Settore Automazione Biblioteche
Via dei Tizii, 6b
00185 Roma - ITALY
Tel. ++39-06-44486-605
Fax ++39-06-4957083
p.gargiulo a caspur.it

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