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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2010 Oct;36(10):1283-300. doi: 10.1177/0146167210378111. Epub 2010 Jul 28.

Cumulative and career-stage citation impact of social-personality psychology programs and their members.

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Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4400, USA.


Number of citations and the h-index are popular metrics for indexing scientific impact. These, and other existing metrics, are strongly related to scientists' seniority. This article introduces complementary indicators that are unrelated to the number of years since PhD. To illustrate cumulative and career-stage approaches for assessing the scientific impact across a discipline, citations for 611 scientists from 97 U.S. and Canadian social psychology programs are amassed and analyzed. Results provide benchmarks for evaluating impact across the career span in psychology and other disciplines with similar citation patterns. Career-stage indicators provide a very different perspective on individual and program impact than cumulative impact, and may predict emerging scientists and programs. Comparing social groups, Whites and men had higher impact than non-Whites and women, respectively. However, average differences in career stage accounted for most of the difference for both groups.

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