Analyzing Citation Frequencies of Leading Software Engineering Scholars

Oliver Hummel, Alexander Gerhart, Bernhard Schäfer


It is understandable that sponsors of research activities are interested in assessing the work of scholars they (plan to) support although this is not a simple undertaking. Until today, there is no obvious approach for objectively measuring and comparing the quality of research results from different disciplines. Hence, counting publications has been used for long time as a substitute to deal with this challenge and only recent technological advances have fostered the usage of so-called citation indices (such as the h-index) for this purpose. Although this approach is as disputed as all previous ideas in this context, we feel it is about time to investigate the expressiveness of modern citation analysis approaches in computer science more closely. In order to do that, we have chosen the area of software engineering and created a first comprehensive ranking, illustrating citation values of world class scholars by analyzing the work of almost 700 researchers in this field. We have found that top h-index scores in software engineering are around 60 while top-notch g-indices start at around 130 when Google Scholar and Publish or Perish, the quasi standard tools for this purpose are used. Clearly, the results of our study are influenced by the coverage of these tools so that we have also analyzed Google Scholar and found it having a very high coverage of software engineering publications. Hence we are convinced to have collected good quality results that will allow our community to better judge and use citation numbers in the future.

Full Text:



Computer and Information Science   ISSN 1913-8989 (Print)   ISSN 1913-8997 (Online)
Copyright © Canadian Center of Science and Education

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.