Author Inflation Leads to a Breakdown of Lotka's Law


Hildrun Kretschmer
Email: kretschmer.h@t-online.de

Ronald Rousseau
Email: ronald.rousseau@kh.khbo.be


Abstract

It is empirically shown that, even using the normal or total counting procedure, Lotka's law breaks down when articles with a large, i.e. more than hundred, number of authors are included in the bibliography. The explanation of this phenomenon is that the conditions for an application of the basic success-breeds-success model are not fulfilled anymore. Articles with many authors mean items with multiple sources, hence Egghe's generalized success-breeds-success model, leading to not necessarily decreasing distributions, explains the observed irregularities.

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