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CiteScore metrics are suitable to address different situations – a case study

Issue: 43(2) May 2017. Original articles Pages 27 – 31

Lisa Colledge

Chris James
Elsevier; [email protected]

Norman Azoulay

Wim Meester

Andrew Plume


Background: The “basket of metrics” provides a diverse set of metrics for all entities. It includes novel alongside traditional metrics, and both types remain important. CiteScore metrics, a set of citation-based metrics for journals, have recently been introduced. This case study illustrates the importance of having access to different but related metrics to provide responsible input into different situations.
Methods: A set of six journals, ranked 10th by their CiteScore, was selected. Their free CiteScore metrics values for 2015 were taken from
Results: The CiteScores of these journals, consistently ranked 10th in their subject fields, differ by almost 4.5 units. Journals with relatively high CiteScores also have high CiteScore Percentiles.
Conclusion: CiteScore should only be used to evaluate the citation impact of titles within the same subject field. CiteScore Percentile is suitable for comparing citation impact of titles in different fields. The basket of metrics supports a valuable and responsible input to decision making. The question being asked needs to be clearly articulated to identify suitable metrics. Using more than one metric to help answer a question prevents penalising diverse types of excellence, and helps to prevent changes in the behaviour that is being measured.


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