Category Archives: citations

more evidence of academic publishing being broken

Stay Free! Daily reprints an article from the Wall Street Journal on how the editors of scientific journals published by Thomson Scientific are coercing authors to include more citations to articles published by Thomson Scientific:

Dr. West, the Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Physiology at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, is one of the world’s leading authorities on respiratory physiology and was a member of Sir Edmund Hillary’s 1960 expedition to the Himalayas. After he submitted a paper on the design of the human lung to the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, an editor emailed him that the paper was basically fine. There was just one thing: Dr. West should cite more studies that had appeared in the respiratory journal.

If that seems like a surprising request, in the world of scientific publishing it no longer is. Scientists and editors say scientific journals increasingly are manipulating rankings — called “impact factors” — that are based on how often papers they publish are cited by other researchers.

“I was appalled,” says Dr. West of the request. “This was a clear abuse of the system because they were trying to rig their impact factor.”

Read the full article here.