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Mir, TA (2016)

Citations to articles citing Benford's law: a Benford analysis

arXiv:1602.01205; posted Feb 3, 2016.

ISSN/ISBN: Not available at this time. DOI: Not available at this time.

Abstract: The observation that in large data the occurrence of first significant digits of numbers is often governed by a logarithmically decreasing distribution, quite far from the ordinarily expected uniform distribution, is called Benford's law (BL). It was first reported by S. Newcomb and many decades later independently by F. Benford. Due to its counter-intuitiveness the law was ignored for decades as a mere curious observation. However, huge swell in number of publications which the law has seen lately is an indication of its remarkable resurgence. The law has come a long way, from obscurity to now being a regular subject of books, peer reviewed papers, patents, blogs and news. Here, we use Google Scholar (GS) to collect the data on the number of citations received by the articles citing the original papers of Newcomb and Benford, and then investigate whether the leading digits of this citations data are distributed according to the law they discovered. We find that the monthly citations data of the articles citing Benford's paper remarkably follow the law but that of Newcomb's paper in some cases does/does not follow the law. On the other hand, the yearly citations data corresponding to both Newcomb's and Benford's paper follow the law.

@misc{, AUTHOR = {Mir, Tariq Ahmad}, TITLE = {Citations to articles citing Benford's law: a Benford analysis}, HOWPUBLISHED = {\url{}}, YEAR = {2016}, NOTE = {last accessed Feb 7, 2016}, }

Reference Type: E-Print

Subject Area(s): General Interest