Complex Systems

Citations and the Zipf--Mandelbrot Law Download PDF

Z. K. Silagadze
Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics,
630 090, Novosibirsk, Russia


A curious observation was made that the rank statistics of scientific citation numbers follows the Zipf--Mandelbrot law. The same power-like behavior is exhibited by some simple random citation models. The observed regularity indicates not so much the peculiar character of the underlying (complex) process, but more likely than it is usually assumed, its more stochastic nature.