Citation Distributions for Geological Society of America Journals

The bioRxiv preprint on journal citation distributions (Larivière et al. 2016) is now revised (see this post by Stephen Curry, one of the authors). Just to recap, the authors made the suggestion that journals should not only report ‘Impact Factor’, but also citation distributions for greater transparency.

Out of curiosity I have calculated this distribution for four geomorphology journals as well as the entire JGR suite of journals by AGU (Oceans, Biogeosciences, Solid Earth, Earth Surface, Planets, Space Physics, and Atmospheres). I now turn my attention to four journals published by the Geological Society of America (GSA) — Geology, GSA Bulletin, Geosphere, and Lithosphere.

All data is from Scopus, and distribution is compared to the 2015 IF calculation. Details on the methodology can be found in appendix 2 of Larivière et al. 2016



Larivière et al. 2016 echo previous work by reminding us that: 1) citation distributions are skewed; 2) most papers have fewer citations than the impact factor; 3) citation distributions for journal can span orders of magnitude; and 4) citation distributions tend to look similar to one another. The data from these GSA journals tend to adhere to the four principles above, similar to the four geomorphology journals and the AGU JGR journals that I have looked at previously.

Note that:

  • The y-axis scale is different for the graphs above.
  • Two papers from Geology are off the chart (with 34 and 45 citations in this time period, respectively).

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