Current Liblicense Archive - Re: From Nature: 66 journals banned for boosting impact factor with self-citations

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LIBLICENSE-L  June 2013

LIBLICENSE-L June 2013

Subject:

Re: From Nature: 66 journals banned for boosting impact factor with self-citations

From:

LIBLICENSE <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

LibLicense-L Discussion Forum <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 24 Jun 2013 20:45:50 -0400

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From: Anthony Watkinson <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Mon, 24 Jun 2013 08:45:10 +0100

I think there may have been some misunderstandings here. My experience
of interviewing academics over the last two months has been and the
conclusions I draw are:

1.      The activities of the publishers that Beall has listed has
been really and unfairly damaging to Open Access as a whole.
Academics seem to believe that is a systemic fault following from
paying to publish. Note that I do not believe this: I am recording. I
have yet to meet an academic who has complained about recently being
pressed to publish in, referee for or go on the editorial board of a
subscription journal whether new or old. I think DOAJ is correct in
taking note of this. I think Beall is doing a service to Open Access.

2.      Likewise in discussion about peer review quite a number of
academics have described circumstances when they are encouraged and
even (much less common) forced to cite other (supposedly relevant)
articles previously published in a journal they have submitted an
article to. My understanding is that most of these journals are
established subscription based journals though I did not ask this
question directly. I have read through the comment in Nature and the
original statement from ISI and I do not see a definition of
self-citation but my understanding was that this form of gaming
involves citation by an author in a journal of other articles
published in a journal not (as Joe seems to think) citation of one’s
own previous articles. For many years there has been discussion at
least in publishing and academic circles about how far one can go in
encouraging self-citation in this sense (compelling has always been
frowned upon): there is no secret here. It now seems to be generally
felt that editors should be discouraged (prevented?) by publishers
from adopting the practice of offering to the submitting author a list
of articles they might site.

I happen to have different views from Kevin. I do not want to force
authors to have to publish open access through mandates. But this is a
different question.

I have however nothing against nor ever had any objection to the open
access model only doubts about its sustainability in economic terms. I
can give references if anyone was interested.  I am certainly against
the OA model as such being trashed.

Anthony


From: LibLicense-L Discussion Forum
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Joseph Esposito
Sent: 24 June 2013 00:33
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: From Nature: 66 journals banned for boosting impact
factor with self-citations

I would be astonished to discover that self-citation is restricted to
OA publications, so Kevin and I find ourselves in the unfamiliar
situation of agreeing with one another.  But there is a different
question buried here:  is the problem self-citation or the inclusion
of self-citation in measuring impact?  I would think that
self-citation is a natural act, like admiring your own children, but
there is no reason to include these citations in measuring impact.

Joe Esposito



On Sun, Jun 23, 2013 at 4:54 PM, LIBLICENSE <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: Kevin Smith <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2013 15:04:03 +0000

This blog post made me curious.  Surely gaming the impact factor is a
practice we should be made aware of in the academic library world,
since impact is a selling point for subscriptions.  So are there
subscription journals on this list, or are such "predatory practices"
really confined to open access publishing?

The Nature blog post initially led me to think that, regardless of
business model, these were very obscure journals.  They cite two
specific titles, and it is probably fair to call the Iranian Journal
of Fuzzy Systems obscure, at least to Western academics.  It is
apparently published by an Iranian university.  But the other one
named, the International Journal of Crashworthiness, is published by
Taylor and Francis, so is likely part of a journal package sold to
many universities.  Knowing that made me more curious.

I selected a random sample of fifteen of these titles to see who
published them.  While it would be unfair to blame the publishers for
all of the practices that caused Thomson Reuters to ban these titles,
knowing their sources can at least give us a better idea of the scope
of the problem of dubious publishing practices.  So from my random
sample of fifteen titles, here is a breakdown of who the publishers of
these banned titles are:

* Only one of the fifteen is a purely open access journal, published
by an association and not on Beall's list of predatory OA
publications.  The remainder appear to be subscription journals, most
with a "hybrid" paid OA option.

* One other, in addition to the OA title mentioned above, is published
by an association.

* Four are published by small presses of which I have not heard before
(a subjective classification, I know).

* The remaining nine titles from my sample are published by four of
the large commercial academic publishers: Taylor and Francis (2), Sage
(3), Elsevier (2), and Springer (2).

This breakdown confirms my impression that we need to have a broader
discussion about publishing ethics and good stewardship of academic
resources rather than focusing our attention only on misbehaving open
access publishers.

Kevin L. Smith, M.L.S., J.D.
Director, Copyright and Scholarly Communication
Duke University Libraries
P.O. Box 90193
Durham, NC  27708
[log in to unmask]


-----Original Message-----
From: Pamela Puryear <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2013 10:35:14 -0400

http://blogs.nature.com/news/2013/06/new-record-66-journals-banned-for-boosting-impact-factor-with-self-citations.html

Pamela E. Puryear, MA, MLS, CCRM
NCARS Resource Manager
North Carolina Agricultural Research Service (NCARS)

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