Proposed changes to IDEAS/RePEc ranking: Euclid and outliers

The IDEAS/RePEc rankings are a popular way to assess the strength of economists, serials and institutions. They are built on a large number of criteria that are relatively stable in definition. As rankings matter a lot for some, we do not want to disturb the definitions before prior approval by the community. Hence, we are putting to a vote several changes for the aggregate rankings of economists and serials. Voting ends one month from this post, 19 May 2017. Any approved change is expected to be available in the May rankings released in early June 2017.

Euclidian ranking for economists

The Euclidian ranking of economists has already been computed for several months. It is based on an AER article by Motty Perry and Philip Reny. The score is measured by taking the square root of the sum across all distinct works of the square of the number of adjusted citations, the adjustment being for the typical number of references in the field of the paper (the field is defined by NEP, if there are several fields a geometric average is used, no adjustment if field is not defined). Thus, this ranking favors those who have some work that that is much more cited than others. The other citation criteria that are currently used are sums of citations, several with citations weighted by various impact factors. The only ones that differ from this model are the H-index (which favors a more uniform distribution of citations across works), and criteria based on the number of economists citing.

The addition of the Euclidian criterion would thus introduce a new angle in the list of criteria: having some particularly influential work instead of a larger body of work. As noted in the article, this criterion also has a number of properties that no other criterion has. Vote below if you think such a criterion should be added to those retained for the aggregate ranking.

Exclusion of extreme criteria for economists

The procedure for the aggregation of the ranking criteria currently excludes the worst and best criteria for every economist. The rationale for this is that one should not be penalized too much for being particularly bad with one criterion, and not shoot up too much in the rankings if only one criterion is very good. The fact that only one of each is excluded has been repeatedly discussed in the community, and given that that we may be adding another criterion (potentially the 36th) is an opportunity to revisit this. The vote below asks whether more extremes should be excluded from consideration. Note that it will be assumed that if you vote for “3”, you would also approve of “2” as the current status quo is “1”.

Euclidian ranking for serials

Similarly to economists, an Euclidian ranking can be computed for serials (journals, working paper series, book series, chapter series). For serials, we similarly construct an aggregate ranking across criteria. This ranking is little used to our knowledge. The question here is whether to include the Euclidian ranking in that computation. Note that ranking is not yet available.

Euclidian ranking for institutions

It is currently not clear how the Euclidian ranking for institutions would be computed. The problem is how to treat economists with multiple affiliations. For other criteria that are based on simple sums, the current practice is to multiply the scores by the relevant affiliation share. This does not make much sense for a sum of squares. There is a similar problem for the H-index that was resolved by redefining it. Should a solution be found, the same aggregation approach would be used as for economists.

Exclusion of extreme criteria for institutions

This poll is the mirror image of the one for economists. The only difference is that we have currently 32 instead of 35 criteria. Due to this difference, a separate poll is offered.

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