Relative Citation Ratio (RCR): A New Metric That Uses Citation Rates to Measure Influence at the Article Level
(A, B) Frequency distribution of article-level RCRs (A) and JIFs (B), from 88,835 papers (authored by 3,089 R01-funded principal investigators [PIs]) for which co-citation networks were generated. Article RCRs are well fit by a log-normal distribution (R2 = 0.99), and JIFs less so (R2 = 0.79). (C) Box-and-whisker plots summarizing JIFs for the same papers, binned by impact factor quintile (line, median; box, 25th–75th percentiles; whiskers, 10th–90th percentiles). (D) RCR for the same papers using the same bins by JIF quintile (same scale as C). Although the median RCR for each bin generally corresponds to the impact factor quintile, there is a wide range of article RCRs in each category. (E) Box-and-whisker plots summarizing RCRs of these same papers published in selected journals. In each journal, there are papers with article RCRs surpassing the median RCR of the highest impact factor journals (left three). The impact factor of each journal is shown above. (F, G) Frequency distribution of investigator-level RCRs (F) and JIFs (G), representing the mean values for papers authored by each of 3,089 R01-funded PIs. Dashed line in (F), mode of RCR for PIs.