This paper documents that salient features of (time series of annual) citations to scientific publications might be captured by a Bass type diffusion model. This is particularly useful as it allows for a comparison of these features across journals, across disciplines and over time. For the illustrative case of Econometrica 1987, it is found that the peak in citations occurs at 6.5 years, on average. Also, it is found that after 14 years there is only a little gap between cumulative citations and the estimated total cumulative amount, suggesting that on average the impact of these articles lasts for about 15 years or so. Finally, it appears that these features can partly be explained by the size of the articles, as it is found that longer papers get more citations and peak later.

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Series Econometric Institute Research Papers
Franses, Ph.H.B.F. (2002). On the diffusion of scientific publications; the case of Econometrica 1987 (No. EI 2002-16). Econometric Institute Research Papers. Retrieved from