Conglomerates as a general framework for informetric research
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AbstractWe introduce conglomerates as a general framework for informetric (and other) research. A conglomerate consists of two collections: a finite source collection and a pool, and two mappings: a source-item map and a magnitude map. The ratio of the sum of all magnitudes of item-sets, and the number of elements in the source collection is called the conglomerate ratio. It is a kind of average, generalizing the notion of an impact factor. The source-item relation of a conglomerate leads to a list of sources ranked according to the magnitude of their corresponding item-sets. This list, called a Zipf list, is the basic ingredient for all considerations related to power laws and Lotkaian or Zipfian informetrics. Examples where this framework applies are: impact factors, including web impact factors, Bradford–Lotka type bibliographies, first-citation studies, word use, diffusion factors, elections and even bestsellers lists.

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