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Publications 2017, 5(3), 21; doi:10.3390/publications5030021

Measuring Time-Dynamics and Time-Stability of Journal Rankings in Mathematics and Physics by Means of Fractional p-Variations

1
Instituto de Diseño y Fabricación, Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 Valencia, Spain
2
Florida Universitaria, Rey En Jaume I, 2, Catarroja, 46470 Valencia, Spain
3
Instituto Universitario de Matemática Pura y Aplicada, Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 Valencia, Spain
All the authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 August 2017 / Revised: 14 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
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Abstract

Journal rankings of specific research fields are often used for evaluation purposes, both of authors and institutions. These rankings can be defined by means of several methods, as expert assessment, scholarly-based agreements, or by the ordering induced by a numeric index associated to the prestige of the journals. In order to be efficient and accepted by the research community, it must preserve the ordering over time, at least up to a point. Otherwise, the procedure for defining the ranking must be revised to assure that it reflects the presumably stable characteristic “prestige” that it claims to be quantifying. A mathematical model based on fractional p-variations of the values of the order number of each journal in a time series of journal rankings is explained, and its main properties are shown. As an example, we study the evolution of two given ordered lists of journals through an eleven-year series. These journal ranks are defined by using the 2-year Impact Factor of Thomson-Reuters (nowadays Clarivate Analytics) lists for MATHEMATICS and PHYSICS, APPLIED from 2002 to 2013. As an application of our model, we define an index that precludes the use of journal ranks for evaluation purposes when some minimal requirements on the associated fractional p-variations are not satisfied. The final conclusion is that the list of mathematics does not satisfy the requirements on the p-variations, while the list of applied physics does. View Full-Text
Keywords: stability; impact measure; time series; citation analysis; model; p-variations; research evaluation stability; impact measure; time series; citation analysis; model; p-variations; research evaluation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ferrer-Sapena, A.; Díaz-Novillo, S.; Sánchez-Pérez, E.A. Measuring Time-Dynamics and Time-Stability of Journal Rankings in Mathematics and Physics by Means of Fractional p-Variations. Publications 2017, 5, 21.

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