Sunday, May 5, 2013

Blog mentions: are they citations?

RePEc is putting up for vote some modifications to its rankings, including whether blog mentions should be counted as citations. The blog mentions are taken from EconAcademics, to which the present blog seems to be the largest contributor. So my opinion may matter whether I consider my mentioning of a paper to be equivalent to a citation.

Sometimes, I point out bad papers, and this should obviously not count as a citation. Of course, people often cite rather bad works because they want to improve on them, so nothing unusual here. Also, people often cite other works for strategic reasons, because the cited author is the editor, a potential referee, or otherwise powerful. Yet we still count that as a citation. A blog post, however, is entirely dedicated to a paper. I do not discuss it because I somehow want to gain favors with someone, as I am incognito. For other bloggers that may be different, though. What you get from my confused statements is that I am not quite sure blog mentions should count as citations. What I observe, though, is that authors do treat them differently. Never do you see an author listing a particular citation on a CV or homepage, but they sometimes do it for blog mentions. For this last reason, I tend to think a blog mention is even more than a citation, as long as there is some control over which blogs count, something EconAcademics does.

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