The iCite database was last updated on January 31, 2020 and currently contains 24,828,396 publications, of which 18,357,931 have an RCR greater than 0. iCite covers the years 1980 through present.
The distribution of RCRs for publications with RCR greater than 0 is shown above, with the tail truncated at 5.
NIH-funded papers are the benchmark for RCR: Any paper with RCR 1.0 has an RCR higher than 50% of NIH-funded papers. Some other RCR percentiles for NIH-funded papers are shown below.
The iCite database contains many papers that were not NIH-funded. RCR percentiles for the full iCite database are shown below.
Figure 1: Stability of RCR over time. (A-E) Change in RCR over time for individual NIH-funded articles published in 1991. Articles were assigned to quintiles based on their RCR values in the year after publication (1992); RCR in each subsequent year was calculated. For each quintile, 200 individual articles (gray lines) were chosen at random from the subset whose 1992 values were within 10% of the median, and the resulting plots are shown. All values are actual and unsmoothed. In (A) through (E), the red line shows the median for the respective quintile. (A) Top quintile; (B) Upper mid quintile; (C) Mid quintile; (D) Lower mid quintile; (E) Bottom quintile; (F) Median RCR in each of the five quintiles for all NIH-funded articles published in 1991.