Thomson Reuters breaks down on citation cartel

Nieuws | de redactie
5 juli 2012 | A record number of academic journals were banned from this year’s research impact factor ranking. Thomson Reuters omitted 51 journals from its prestigious list of top journals due to “anomalous citation patterns”.

51 academic journals were excluded from Thomson Reuters’research impact factor ranking2011. On annual basis, journals that attempt to significantly climbranks through self-citation are banned for a couple of years. Thisyear, 28 new offenders were subject to this measure. In 2007, thiswas only the case for 9 journals.

By comparison, this number is still relatively small given thatThomson Reuters includes more than 10,500 periodicals in itsranking. However, one case of systematic manipulation stands out.Three months ago Scholarly Kitchen revealed that The Scientific World Journal, CellTransplantation and Medical Science Monitor had used mutualcitations to artificially boost their research impact standing.

Defining whether “anomalous citation patterns” are in factquestionable for the science community is difficult, as a recent blog by Nature magazine argues. Thomson Reuters itself onlyinvestigates cases where self-citation leads to significant boostsof the impact factor.

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