The Right Coast

August 22, 2005
A voice crying in the wilderness, but not as hard as I thought
By Tom Smith

I was lying on the couch in my office, trying to take a nap, when it popped into my head that I had made a miscalculation in my post on law review citation distributions. So if you revisit that post, you will see I have done the honorable thing, and corrected it. I am not about to have anything interfere with my naps. To sum up, the top .5% of articles gets 18% of the cites, the top 5% or so, about 50%, and the top 18% of articles, about 80% of cites, and 40% don't get cited at all. Much better than I thought, but not enough to stop crying. Also, rather close to the distribution in high energy physics, and closeish to the many, many examples of 80/20 distributions, curiously enough. These numbers are still very, very preliminary, so just remember that.