Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Highlights
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We discuss centrality indexes in the bipartite scientific papersauthors networks.
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We propose a new index (the Kindex), which is simple to calculate and outperforms the Hirsch hindex in several aspects.
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The Kindex correlates better with Nobel prizes than any of the other indexes furnished by the Web of Science (WoS) platform.
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The Kindex is related to connections to the hubs of the scientific citation and social networks.
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The outliers in the K vs h plane contain interesting information that can be used for scientific prizes prediction.
Abstract
We introduce a new centrality index for bipartite network of papers and authors that we call Kindex. The Kindex grows with the citation performance of the papers that cite a given researcher and can seen as a measure of scientific social recognition. Indeed, the Kindex measures the number of hubs, defined in a selfconsistent way in the bipartite network, that cites a given author. We show that the Kindex can be computed by simple inspection of the Web of Science platform and presents several advantages over other centrality indexes, in particular Hirsch hindex. The Kindex is robust to selfcitations, is not limited by the total number of papers published by a researcher as occurs for the hindex and can distinguish in a consistent way researchers that have the same hindex but very different scientific social recognition. The Kindex easily detects a known case of a researcher with inflated number of papers, citations and hindex due to scientific misconduct. Finally, we show that, in a sample of twentyeight physics Nobel laureates and twentyeight highly cited nonNobellaureate physicists, the Kindex correlates better to the achievement of the prize than the number of papers, citations, citations per paper, citing articles or the hindex. Clustering researchers in a K versus h plot reveals interesting outliers that suggest that these two indexes can present complementary independent information.
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