Lotka’s Law Package

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Informatics, Domain analysis, Lotka’s Law, Author productivity, Lotka Law Package


Research suggests that in order to identify a scientific domain, we need to follow the activities of that domain’s researchers. The field of informatics addresses the science of processing data for storage using a strong relationship with mathematics to examine any domain. We set out to find whether R can support the examination of common models of informatics by measuring scholarly activities in a particular domain. Researchers have found that the most common laws relied upon by informatics researchers are Bradford’s Law, Zipf’s Law, and Lotka’s Law. Bradford’s Law examines journal productivity, Zipf’s law measures word frequency and Lotka’s Law investigates author productivity. Researchers have implemented Bradford’s Law and Zipf’s law using R to advance their studies. However, we found that Lotka’s Law has not been examined or used under R. In order to address this gap, we developed a Lotka’s Law package in R. We found that the advantage of using R in analyzing Lotka’s Law is the ability to reexamine Pao’s testing procedure. We will present our development of a Lotka’s Law package in R and demonstrate how to visualize the results.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Presented at The useR! Conference 2015, in Aalborg, Denmark