Cover Effects on Citations Uncovered: Evidence from Nature

16 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2019

See all articles by Pietro Battiston

Pietro Battiston

University of Parma - Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Aziendali

Pier Luigi Sacco

IULM University

Luca Stanca

University of Milan, Bicocca - Department of Economics; Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS)

Date Written: October 22, 2019

Abstract

Despite the prominent role played by bibliometric indicators for evaluating research, progress in pinning down the determinants of citation flows has so far been hindered by endogeneity issues. Based on 30 years of bibliometric data, we exploit a Regression Discontinuity Design to causally identify the effects that an article featured on the cover of the journal Nature has on citations to all articles by its authors. We confirm that, over time, cover articles are cited significantly more than non-cover articles, with this difference being long-lasting. However, when considering all articles by Nature authors, we find evidence of a crowding-out effect: the publication of a cover article causes citations to previous articles by its authors to decline sharply relative to citations to articles by non-cover authors.

Keywords: Bibliometric indicators, Citation flows, Research evaluation, Cover article

JEL Classification: I23, Z1, C5, O3

Suggested Citation

Battiston, Pietro and Sacco, Pier Luigi and Stanca, Luca, Cover Effects on Citations Uncovered: Evidence from Nature (October 22, 2019). University of Milan Bicocca Department of Economics, Management and Statistics Working Paper No. 420, October 2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3474233 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3474233

Pietro Battiston

University of Parma - Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Aziendali ( email )

via Kennedy 6
Parma, 43125
Italy

Pier Luigi Sacco

IULM University ( email )

Italy

Luca Stanca (Contact Author)

University of Milan, Bicocca - Department of Economics ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo, Nuovo I
Milan 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milano, 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milan, 20126
Italy

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