A Neuro-Fuzzy System to Calculate a Journal Internationality Index

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Perakakis, Pandelis ; Taylor, Michael ; Buela-Casal, Gualberto ; Checa, Purificacion (2005)

Internationality as a concept is being applied ambiguously and erroneously, particularly in the world of academic journal publication where it is often used as a quality indicator. Although different qualitative criteria have been used by scientometrists in order to attempt a measure of internationality in various contexts, it is now clear that the literal definition of internationality is a minimal one while other proposed measures based on individual criteria fail to provide a complete and accurate assessment. As such, internationality remains to be defined2. Here, we present a holistic approach to the problem based on fuzzy logic. We surveyed, critically-assessed and pruned the set of internationality criteria in the context of academic publishing, selecting those that are semantically precise and amenable to quantitative measure. We have tested the ability of each criterion to measure internationality by applying them to four thematically-connected journals from the field of Health and Clinical Psychology, using descriptive statistics and the Gini Coefficient. The results of this case study revealed that, in the absence of a method of numerically weighting the criteria, any measurement of internationality remains ambiguous and incorrect. We propose that internationality is best represented by a neuro-fuzzy system of fuzzy sets of the weighted criteria linked by fuzzy rules in a multi-layer perceptron, whose output defuzzification gives a new measure – a Journal Internationality Index akin to the Impact Factor for citations. Viewing internationality in this way as an approximated fuzzy function means a quantitative measure can be found while keeping intact its semantic rule origins and meaning.
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