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Vellwock, AE and Wei, A (2020)

On the Benfordness of academic citations

Preprint posted on research; last accessed March 16, 2021.

ISSN/ISBN: Not available at this time. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.22108.82562

Abstract: Benford’s Law is a tool to assess the validity of datasets. Citation numbers are a method to quantify a researcher's academic achievement, but the legitimacy can be questioned. Benford’s Law can point out data manipulation in accounting and financial markets; however, its effectiveness in the academic field is unknown. Our results showed that Benford’s Law is valid for analyzing a list of cited publications, both for individual researchers and average university values. The Benfordness increases according to the quantity of cited publications. Nevertheless, for 1000+ publications, a non-traditional distribution appears. This goes against the Law, and here we do cannot explain the reason for its appearance. This study also shows that the world rank of a university is not directly correlated to the Benfordness of its publications.

@misc{, author = {Andre E. Vellwock and Anran Wei}, title = {On the Benfordness of academic citations}, year = {2020}, doi = {10.13140/RG.2.2.22108.82562}, }

Reference Type: Preprint

Subject Area(s): General Interest, Social Sciences