Saturday, March 10, 2012

My Number is 2.2% of Einstein's!

I have learned that Google Inc. now provides a service called "My Citations" as part of "Google Scholar." This service automatically makes, preserves and updates a list of publications by a researcher (papers, books, etc., including those with coauthors) together with the number of citations and the lists of sources of citations. It seems to have started last summer. There is a Web page that introduces the service, telling that you can see an example of Einstein's citations (the above image). The total number of citations of his publications is currently 56,985.

As for me, the total number is 1277 (as of today; see here for a possible update) and is 2.2% of Einstein's. I certainly know this: The relative importance of the scientific contributions by Einstein to that of mine is much more than this ratio shows because of the following reason. The results obtained by Einstein soon became well known. Therefore, those are often used without citing the original paper every time. Contrary to this, it is always necessary to mention the original publication in order to use such results as are not widely known like ours.

There is another reason for the fact that the number of citations of Einstein's publications are less than expected. Compilation of citation data from earlier journals are probably not yet complete, because publication was not digitized those days (my number may also suffer this delay to some extent). This can be inferred from the graph in the above image; i.e., the number of citations per year shows a trend of decline as the year goes back in the period before 2004.

I will soon write another blog post to describe advantages and disadvantages of "My citation" service at the present stage.

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