Last but not least: Additional positional effects on citation and readership in arXiv



We continue investigation of the effect of position in announcements of newly received articles, a single day artifact, with citations received over the course of ensuing years. Earlier work focused on the “visibility” effect for positions near the beginnings of announcements, and on the “self-promotion” effect associated with authors intentionally aiming for these positions, with both found correlated to a later enhanced citation rate. Here we consider a “reverse-visibility” effect for positions near the ends of announcements, and on a “procrastination” effect associated with submissions made within the 20 minute period just before the daily deadline. For two large subcommunities of theoretical high-energy physics, we find a clear “reverse-visibility” effect, in which articles near the ends of the lists receive a boost in both short-term readership and long-term citations, almost comparable in size to the “visibility” effect documented earlier. For one of those subcommunities, we find an additional “procrastination” effect, in which last position articles submitted shortly before the deadline have an even higher citation rate than those that land more accidentally in that position. We consider and eliminate geographic effects as responsible for the above, and speculate on other possible causes, including “oblivious” and “nightowl” effects.