Working Paper | HBS Working Paper Series | 2012

Author-Level Eigenfactor Metrics: Evaluating the Influence of Authors, Institutions and Countries within the SSRN community

by Jevin D. West, Michael C. Jensen, Ralph J. Dandrea, Gregg Gordon and Carl T. Bergstrom

Abstract

In this paper, we show how the Eigenfactor® score, originally designed for ranking scholarly journals, can be adapted to rank the scholarly output of authors, institutions, and countries based on author-level citation data. Using the methods described herein, we provide Eigenfactor rankings for 84,808 disambiguated authors of 240,804 papers in the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) a pre and post-print archive devoted to the rapid dissemination of scholarly research in the social sciences and humanities. As an additive metric, the Eigenfactor scores are readily computed for collectives such as departments or institutions as well. We show that a collective's Eigenfactor score can be computed either by summing the Eigenfactor scores of its members, or by working directly with a collective-level cross-citation matrix. To illustrate, we provide Eigenfactor rankings for institutions and countries in the SSRN repository. With a network-wide comparison of Eigenfactor scores and download tallies, we demonstrate that Eigenfactor scores provide information that is both different from and complementary to that provided by download counts. We see author-level ranking as one filter for navigating the scholarly literature, and note that such rankings generate incentives for more open scholarship, as authors are rewarded for making their work available to the community as early as possible and prior to formal publication.

Keywords: Body of Literature; Measurement and Metrics; Networks; Rank and Position; Research; Motivation and Incentives;

Citation:

West, Jevin D., Michael C. Jensen, Ralph J. Dandrea, Gregg Gordon, and Carl T. Bergstrom. "Author-Level Eigenfactor Metrics: Evaluating the Influence of Authors, Institutions and Countries within the SSRN community." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 12-068, February 2012.