Citation Geography: It's About Location

It is well known that the distribution of citation counts is highly skewed, with a few scientists receiving many citations but with most receiving very few. What is less well known is that when these counts are aggregated by institution, and then by place, these distributions become even more extreme, with most citations being associated with individuals in a small number of institutions in an even smaller number of places and countries. To demonstrate this geographical concentration, a sour

Michael Batty
Aug 24, 2003

It is well known that the distribution of citation counts is highly skewed, with a few scientists receiving many citations but with most receiving very few. What is less well known is that when these counts are aggregated by institution, and then by place, these distributions become even more extreme, with most citations being associated with individuals in a small number of institutions in an even smaller number of places and countries.

To demonstrate this geographical concentration, a source is needed for data that can be aggregated. The Institute for Scientific Information's HighlyCited database(www.isihighlycited.com) is such a source1; in December 2002 the database comprised the top 100 or so cited individuals in 21 scientific fields. Here, I use it to illustrate the geography of scientific citation.

I must qualify the analysis: The source has many limitations, as the data used exclude mathematics, the social sciences, and...