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From Excessive Journal Self-Cites to Citation Stacking: Analysis of Journal Self-Citation Kinetics in Search for Journals, Which Boost Their Scientometric Indicators.

Heneberg P - PLoS ONE (2016)

Bottom Line: We found that although the kinetics of journal self-cites is generally faster compared to foreign cites, it shows some field-specific characteristics.Self-promoting journal self-citations of top-tier journals have rather indirect but negligible direct effects on bibliometric indicators, affecting just the immediacy index and marginally increasing the impact factor itself as long as the affected journals are well established in their fields.They did not receive nearly any network self-cites prior impact factor calculation window, and their network self-cites decreased sharply after the impact factor calculation window.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Third Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, Praha, Czech Republic.

ABSTRACT
Bibliometric indicators increasingly affect careers, funding, and reputation of individuals, their institutions and journals themselves. In contrast to author self-citations, little is known about kinetics of journal self-citations. Here we hypothesized that they may show a generalizable pattern within particular research fields or across multiple fields. We thus analyzed self-cites to 60 journals from three research fields (multidisciplinary sciences, parasitology, and information science). We also hypothesized that the kinetics of journal self-citations and citations received from other journals of the same publisher may differ from foreign citations. We analyzed the journals published the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Nature Publishing Group, and Editura Academiei Române. We found that although the kinetics of journal self-cites is generally faster compared to foreign cites, it shows some field-specific characteristics. Particularly in information science journals, the initial increase in a share of journal self-citations during post-publication year 0 was completely absent. Self-promoting journal self-citations of top-tier journals have rather indirect but negligible direct effects on bibliometric indicators, affecting just the immediacy index and marginally increasing the impact factor itself as long as the affected journals are well established in their fields. In contrast, other forms of journal self-citations and citation stacking may severely affect the impact factor, or other citation-based indices. We identified here a network consisting of three Romanian physics journals Proceedings of the Romanian Academy, Series A, Romanian Journal of Physics, and Romanian Reports in Physics, which displayed low to moderate ratio of journal self-citations, but which multiplied recently their impact factors, and were mutually responsible for 55.9%, 64.7% and 63.3% of citations within the impact factor calculation window to the three journals, respectively. They did not receive nearly any network self-cites prior impact factor calculation window, and their network self-cites decreased sharply after the impact factor calculation window. Journal self-citations and citation stacking requires increased attention and elimination from citation indices.

No MeSH data available.


Share of journal self-cites among total cites.(A)–Top 20 journals from the JCR category Multidisciplinary sciences as sorted by IF2014, (B)–Top 20 journals from the JCR category Parasitology as sorted by IF2014, (C)–Top 20 WoS-indexed journals publishing the articles on information science sorted by the number of articles published in the selected research field. Shown are changes in the ratio of self-cites to total cites received in the respective years, analyzed for post-publication years 0–7. Indicated are means, SDs, 95%CIs, and outliers outside of the 95%CI interval.
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pone.0153730.g002: Share of journal self-cites among total cites.(A)–Top 20 journals from the JCR category Multidisciplinary sciences as sorted by IF2014, (B)–Top 20 journals from the JCR category Parasitology as sorted by IF2014, (C)–Top 20 WoS-indexed journals publishing the articles on information science sorted by the number of articles published in the selected research field. Shown are changes in the ratio of self-cites to total cites received in the respective years, analyzed for post-publication years 0–7. Indicated are means, SDs, 95%CIs, and outliers outside of the 95%CI interval.

Mentions: The WoS category Multidisciplinary sciences included 57 journals, with a median IF2014 0.7, aggregate IF2014 5.3 (4th highest among WoS categories), and both aggregate cited and citing half-lives equal to 7.5 years. The top 20 multidisciplinary journals analyzed, sorted by IF2014, ranged from Nature (IF2014 41.5) to Scientific American (IF2014 1.1). The journal self-citations (Fig 1) peaked during the post-publication year 1 (13,638 self-cites, 25.3% of self-cites received in post-publication years 0–7) and 2 (12,697 self-cites, 23.5%) and were subject to sharp decrease with the next years, with only 1,601 journal self-cites received during the post-publication year 7 (3.0%). The decrease of a total number of journal self-cites reached 35.0% and 38.4% annually in post-publication years 3 and 4, and remained high at 23.2–39.3% in post-publication years 5–7 (Fig 1A, black circles). The kinetics of total cites to the journal was slightly delayed compared to the above, and peaked within the post-publication year 2, when it reached 217,821 cites (19.2% of cites received in post-publication years 0–7). The subsequent decrease was just much less pronounced (Fig 1A, white circles), as the foreign cites decreased only by 8.3–16.7% annually. As the above suggested that the journal self-citation ratio is subject to temporal variation, we next analyzed its kinetics in time during post-publication years 0–7 (Fig 2). Despite each journal displayed somewhat different kinetics, the general self-citation ratio pattern was shared by all the Multidisciplinary sciences journals. This pattern consisted of the high self-citation ratio experienced during the post-publication year 0 (mean 14.8; weighted mean 19.9 ± 22.2%, min 0.0, max 91.7), followed by a decrease during year 1 (mean 6.6; weighted mean 8.0 ± 7.7%, min 1.3, max 28.8) and a plateau phase during years 2–7 (means decreasing gradually from 5.5% to 1.5%; weighted means fluctuating among 3.0–9.8%) (Fig 2A). Mean effects of self-cites on immediacy index and impact factor are summarized in Table 1.


From Excessive Journal Self-Cites to Citation Stacking: Analysis of Journal Self-Citation Kinetics in Search for Journals, Which Boost Their Scientometric Indicators.

Heneberg P - PLoS ONE (2016)

Share of journal self-cites among total cites.(A)–Top 20 journals from the JCR category Multidisciplinary sciences as sorted by IF2014, (B)–Top 20 journals from the JCR category Parasitology as sorted by IF2014, (C)–Top 20 WoS-indexed journals publishing the articles on information science sorted by the number of articles published in the selected research field. Shown are changes in the ratio of self-cites to total cites received in the respective years, analyzed for post-publication years 0–7. Indicated are means, SDs, 95%CIs, and outliers outside of the 95%CI interval.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4835057&req=5

pone.0153730.g002: Share of journal self-cites among total cites.(A)–Top 20 journals from the JCR category Multidisciplinary sciences as sorted by IF2014, (B)–Top 20 journals from the JCR category Parasitology as sorted by IF2014, (C)–Top 20 WoS-indexed journals publishing the articles on information science sorted by the number of articles published in the selected research field. Shown are changes in the ratio of self-cites to total cites received in the respective years, analyzed for post-publication years 0–7. Indicated are means, SDs, 95%CIs, and outliers outside of the 95%CI interval.
Mentions: The WoS category Multidisciplinary sciences included 57 journals, with a median IF2014 0.7, aggregate IF2014 5.3 (4th highest among WoS categories), and both aggregate cited and citing half-lives equal to 7.5 years. The top 20 multidisciplinary journals analyzed, sorted by IF2014, ranged from Nature (IF2014 41.5) to Scientific American (IF2014 1.1). The journal self-citations (Fig 1) peaked during the post-publication year 1 (13,638 self-cites, 25.3% of self-cites received in post-publication years 0–7) and 2 (12,697 self-cites, 23.5%) and were subject to sharp decrease with the next years, with only 1,601 journal self-cites received during the post-publication year 7 (3.0%). The decrease of a total number of journal self-cites reached 35.0% and 38.4% annually in post-publication years 3 and 4, and remained high at 23.2–39.3% in post-publication years 5–7 (Fig 1A, black circles). The kinetics of total cites to the journal was slightly delayed compared to the above, and peaked within the post-publication year 2, when it reached 217,821 cites (19.2% of cites received in post-publication years 0–7). The subsequent decrease was just much less pronounced (Fig 1A, white circles), as the foreign cites decreased only by 8.3–16.7% annually. As the above suggested that the journal self-citation ratio is subject to temporal variation, we next analyzed its kinetics in time during post-publication years 0–7 (Fig 2). Despite each journal displayed somewhat different kinetics, the general self-citation ratio pattern was shared by all the Multidisciplinary sciences journals. This pattern consisted of the high self-citation ratio experienced during the post-publication year 0 (mean 14.8; weighted mean 19.9 ± 22.2%, min 0.0, max 91.7), followed by a decrease during year 1 (mean 6.6; weighted mean 8.0 ± 7.7%, min 1.3, max 28.8) and a plateau phase during years 2–7 (means decreasing gradually from 5.5% to 1.5%; weighted means fluctuating among 3.0–9.8%) (Fig 2A). Mean effects of self-cites on immediacy index and impact factor are summarized in Table 1.

Bottom Line: We found that although the kinetics of journal self-cites is generally faster compared to foreign cites, it shows some field-specific characteristics.Self-promoting journal self-citations of top-tier journals have rather indirect but negligible direct effects on bibliometric indicators, affecting just the immediacy index and marginally increasing the impact factor itself as long as the affected journals are well established in their fields.They did not receive nearly any network self-cites prior impact factor calculation window, and their network self-cites decreased sharply after the impact factor calculation window.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Third Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, Praha, Czech Republic.

ABSTRACT
Bibliometric indicators increasingly affect careers, funding, and reputation of individuals, their institutions and journals themselves. In contrast to author self-citations, little is known about kinetics of journal self-citations. Here we hypothesized that they may show a generalizable pattern within particular research fields or across multiple fields. We thus analyzed self-cites to 60 journals from three research fields (multidisciplinary sciences, parasitology, and information science). We also hypothesized that the kinetics of journal self-citations and citations received from other journals of the same publisher may differ from foreign citations. We analyzed the journals published the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Nature Publishing Group, and Editura Academiei Române. We found that although the kinetics of journal self-cites is generally faster compared to foreign cites, it shows some field-specific characteristics. Particularly in information science journals, the initial increase in a share of journal self-citations during post-publication year 0 was completely absent. Self-promoting journal self-citations of top-tier journals have rather indirect but negligible direct effects on bibliometric indicators, affecting just the immediacy index and marginally increasing the impact factor itself as long as the affected journals are well established in their fields. In contrast, other forms of journal self-citations and citation stacking may severely affect the impact factor, or other citation-based indices. We identified here a network consisting of three Romanian physics journals Proceedings of the Romanian Academy, Series A, Romanian Journal of Physics, and Romanian Reports in Physics, which displayed low to moderate ratio of journal self-citations, but which multiplied recently their impact factors, and were mutually responsible for 55.9%, 64.7% and 63.3% of citations within the impact factor calculation window to the three journals, respectively. They did not receive nearly any network self-cites prior impact factor calculation window, and their network self-cites decreased sharply after the impact factor calculation window. Journal self-citations and citation stacking requires increased attention and elimination from citation indices.

No MeSH data available.