Author-level Eigenfactor metrics: Evaluating the influence of authors, institutions, and countries within the social science research network (SSRN) community

See on Scoop.itDual impact of research; towards the impactelligent university


In this article, we show how the Eigenfactor score, originally designed for ranking scholarly journals, can be adapted to rank the scholarly output of authors, institutions, and countries based on author-level citation data. Using the methods described in this article, we provide Eigenfactor rankings for 84,808 disambiguated authors of 240,804 papers in the Social Science Research Network (SSRN)—a preprint and postprint archive devoted to the rapid dissemination of scholarly research in the social sciences and humanities.

As an additive metric, the Eigenfactor scores are readily computed for collectives such as departments or institutions as well. We show that a collective’s Eigenfactor score can be computed either by summing the Eigenfactor scores of its members or by working directly with a collective-level cross-citation matrix. We provide Eigenfactor rankings for institutions and countries in the SSRN repository. With a network-wide comparison of Eigenfactor scores and download tallies, we demonstrate that Eigenfactor scores provide information that is both different from and complementary to that provided by download counts. We see author-level ranking as one filter for navigating the scholarly literature, and note that such rankings generate incentives for more open scholarship, because authors are rewarded for making their work available to the community as early as possible and before formal publication.


The authors: “Scholars respond to incentives like anyone else, and
because scholars are rewarded for prominence and prestige, ranking systems can provide strong incentives (West, 2010). One of the best ways an author can advance his or her score under the ranking system described in this article is by uploading all versions of all papers to SSRN as early
as possible. In this way, authors have better chances of being read and subsequently cited. In this respect, ranking generates a positive externality for science.”



West, J. D., Jensen, M. C., Dandrea, R. J., Gordon, G. J. and Bergstrom, C. T. (2013), Author-level Eigenfactor metrics: Evaluating the influence of authors, institutions, and countries within the social science research network community. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci., 64: 787–801. doi: 10.1002/asi.22790

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About Wilfred Mijnhardt
RMIMR is my virtual playground, a place to reflect on issues from my professional context, my job as Policy Director at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). RSM is the international university based business school at Erasmus University Rotterdam. More info here: Here is my list of relevant publications on the topic of my RMIMR weblog: The rss feed for my RMIMR collection is here: Here is my other weblog on impact of research:

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