To be a Nobel candidate may be predictable if I am reading correctly a paper on archiv.org. The “traditional” impact factor is largely useless
as it ignores the importance of citing papers: a citation from an obscure paper is given the same weight as a citation from a ground-breaking and highly cited work
It may be, however, that the (PageRank derived) CiteRank is holding some promises – giving weight by whom you are cited. In this case, even a 100 citation paper can lead to a Nobel prize.
But is it predictable to get a Nobel prize candidate? Certainly not. I agree with a news feature about a science manager who
recently read Outliers, a book in which Malcolm Gladwell makes the case that
exceptional people get where they are partly because of the exceptional circumstances in which they find themselves, rather than through exceptional ability or sheer hard work.