Discussion Paper of the Institute for Organisational Economics 1/2012

Die Zitationshäufigkeit als Qualitätsindikator im Rahmen der Forschungsleistungsmessung
Harry Müller
January 2012



The Citation Frequency as an Indicator for Quality in the Assessment of Research Performance

This article addresses the problems and application fields of using citations as a measure of research performance. First, it is pointed out why citations are a useful indicator of research performance and what defines the limits of this approach. Thereon, the current methods for constructing research rankings will be presented and critically evaluated. It turns out that for a social science like business administration, several peculiarities have to be considered: Research findings are often published in German language, and besides scientific journals, monographs and edited volumes are equally important types of research media. By taking this into account, it can be argued that despite some specific weaknesses citation based approaches are the most appropriate methodology for accessing research performance under many circumstances.