The “Russian Hirsch”: Predictors of Citation Usage of Scholarly Works in the RSCI

  • Arkady Margolis Moscow State University of Psychology and Education
  • Viktoria Ponomareva Moscow State University of Psychology and Education
  • Marina Sorokova Moscow State University of Psychology and Education
Keywords: Russian Science Citation Index, Russian publications in psychology, citation rate, publication visibility, author-based citation, author reputation, journal credibility


The article investigates the predictors of citation rate in the Russian Science Citation Index (RSCI) for Russian publications in psychology. Four groups of indicators are analyzed: formal attributes of a publication (12 indicators), parameters of publication visibility on eLibrary (3 indicators) and PsyJournals (2 indicators) that define accessibility of publication to potential readers, and author-based citation parameters (3). Special attention is paid to citation parameters as qualitative characteristics of the author’s method of elaborating the scientific text and construing dialogue (in the form of citations) with other researchers. Relationship between the indicators analyzed and the RSCI citation rate is proven statistically using the multivariate statistical methods of factor analysis and cluster analysis. For each of the four groups, the strongest predictors of citation rate are identified by multiple regression analysis, which are then compared by their predictive power. It is shown that visibility (accessibility) indicators are the best predictors of citation rate, followed by formal publication attributes and, finally, citation type parameters as having the lowest predictive power. The method of logistic regression allows to identify the ultimate predictors of citation rate and measure their accuracy in predicting whether a publication is low- or highly cited, which is 77.3% and 72.9% for the indicators of visibility on PsyJournals and eLibrary (respectively), 69.9% for formal attributes, and 60.9% for citation parameters. A publication that has few in-text citations is very likely to have a low RSCI citation rate, yet a high number of in-text citations does not guarantee a high citation impact. Recommendations are provided for authors to increase their citation rates. The sample is represented by 662 publications in six Russian psychology journals, each indexed in the RSCI, Web of Science, and Scopus.


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How to Cite
MargolisArkady, Viktoria Ponomareva, and Marina Sorokova. 2020. “The ‘Russian Hirsch’: Predictors of Citation Usage of Scholarly Works in the RSCI”. Voprosy Obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no. 1 (March), 230-55.