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Open AccessArticle

The Normalization of Citation Counts Based on Classification Systems

1,*,†, 2,† and 3,†
Division for Science and Innovation Studies, Administrative Headquarters of the Max Planck Society, Hofgartenstr. 8, Munich 80539, Germany
Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, Heisenbergstrasse 1, Stuttgart D-70569, Germany
FIZ Karlsruhe, Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen D-76344, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work
Publications 2013, 1(2), 78-86;
Received: 20 June 2013 / Revised: 19 July 2013 / Accepted: 28 July 2013 / Published: 2 August 2013
PDF [173 KB, uploaded 2 August 2013]


If we want to assess whether the paper in question has had a particularly high or low citation impact compared to other papers, the standard practice in bibliometrics is to normalize citations in respect of the subject category and publication year. A number of proposals for an improved procedure in the normalization of citation impact have been put forward in recent years. Against the background of these proposals, this study describes an ideal solution for the normalization of citation impact: in a first step, the reference set for the publication in question is collated by means of a classification scheme, where every publication is associated with a single principal research field or subfield entry (e.g., via Chemical Abstracts sections) and a publication year. In a second step, percentiles of citation counts are calculated for this set and used to assign the normalized citation impact score to the publications (and also to the publication in question). View Full-Text
Keywords: bibliometrics; normalized citation indicators; percentiles bibliometrics; normalized citation indicators; percentiles
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Bornmann, L.; Marx, W.; Barth, A. The Normalization of Citation Counts Based on Classification Systems. Publications 2013, 1, 78-86.

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