Counting and comparing publication output with and without equalizing and inflationary bias
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionHagen, N.T. (2014). Counting and comparing publication output with and without equalizing and inflationary bias. Journal of Informetrics, 8(2), 310-317. doi: 10.1016/j.joi.2014.01.003
This paper examines the effects of inflationary and equalizing bias on publication output rankings. Any identifiable amount of bias in authorship accreditation was detrimental to accuracy when ranking a select group of leading Canadian aquaculture researchers. Bias arose when publication scores were calculated without taking into account information about multiple authorship and differential coauthor contributions. The ensuing biased equal credit scores, whether fractional or inflated, produced rankings that were fundamentally different from the ranking of harmonic estimates of actual credit calculated by using all relevant byline information in the source data. In conclusion, the results indicate that both fractional and inflated rankings are misleading, and suggest that accurate accreditation of coauthors is the key to reliable publication performance rankings.