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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.


Kinetics of Science Signaling and Nature Immunology citations.(A, C) Cites to Science Signaling. (B, D) Cites to Nature Immunology. (A, B) Share of journal self-cites among total cites. Shown are changes in the ratio of cites by the respective journal to total cites received in the respective years, analyzed for post-publication years 0–7. (C, D) Kinetics of journal self-cites and foreign cites. The annual shares were calculated by dividing annual number of cites by the respective journal cites by the total number of cites by the respective journal received during post-publication years 0–7. Shown are annual shares of cites by Science Signaling (black circles), Science (white circles), Nature (black triangles), Nature series journals (white triangles) and Nature Immunology (black squares).
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pone.0153730.g004: Kinetics of Science Signaling and Nature Immunology citations.(A, C) Cites to Science Signaling. (B, D) Cites to Nature Immunology. (A, B) Share of journal self-cites among total cites. Shown are changes in the ratio of cites by the respective journal to total cites received in the respective years, analyzed for post-publication years 0–7. (C, D) Kinetics of journal self-cites and foreign cites. The annual shares were calculated by dividing annual number of cites by the respective journal cites by the total number of cites by the respective journal received during post-publication years 0–7. Shown are annual shares of cites by Science Signaling (black circles), Science (white circles), Nature (black triangles), Nature series journals (white triangles) and Nature Immunology (black squares).

Mentions: The journal self-citations to Science Signaling (Fig 4) peaked already during the post-publication year 1 (155 self-cites, 37.3% of journal self-cites received in post-publication years 0–5), and decreased to just 89 (21.4%) and 82 (19.7%) in post-publication years 1 and 2. The sharp decrease continued in later years, with the annual number of journal self-cites reaching 52 (12.5%), 23 (5.5%) and just 15 (3.6%) in post-publication years 3, 4 and 5, respectively. The decrease of a total number of journal self-cites reached 42.6% during post-publication year 1, then it remained at moderate 7.9% during post-publication year 2, and increased to 34.8–55.8% in post-publication years 3–5 (Fig 4C, black circles). The kinetics of foreign cites to the journal did not show such pattern even when the top-tier journal of the same publisher was analyzed separately (Fig 4C, white circles); similar data were received when analyzing the share of citations received from Nature, Nature Immunology and any Nature series journals. In all these cases, the share of citations received during the post-publication year 0 was low, among 7.0–14.3% but increased to 18.5–34.3% during post-publication year 1, with citations from Nature and Nature series journals continuing in their rise also during post-publication year 2. In later years, the share of citations received from any of these journals decreased similarly as the journal self-cites did (Fig 4C). The above differences were much more prominent when the data were plotted as a ratio of citations received from the respective journal relative to the total number of citations received during the given post-publication year. The ratios of citations received from any of the analyzed journals but Science Signaling displayed mutually similar kinetics with slightly higher values during post-publication year 0, and a plateau during the next years analyzed. In contrast, the ratio of journals self-cites reached 19.0% during the post-publication year 0, whereas it dropped to just 2.4% during post-publication year 1, and was even lower (1.7–0.9%) in later post-publication years analyzed (Fig 4A).


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)

Kinetics of Science Signaling and Nature Immunology citations.(A, C) Cites to Science Signaling. (B, D) Cites to Nature Immunology. (A, B) Share of journal self-cites among total cites. Shown are changes in the ratio of cites by the respective journal to total cites received in the respective years, analyzed for post-publication years 0–7. (C, D) Kinetics of journal self-cites and foreign cites. The annual shares were calculated by dividing annual number of cites by the respective journal cites by the total number of cites by the respective journal received during post-publication years 0–7. Shown are annual shares of cites by Science Signaling (black circles), Science (white circles), Nature (black triangles), Nature series journals (white triangles) and Nature Immunology (black squares).
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pone.0153730.g004: Kinetics of Science Signaling and Nature Immunology citations.(A, C) Cites to Science Signaling. (B, D) Cites to Nature Immunology. (A, B) Share of journal self-cites among total cites. Shown are changes in the ratio of cites by the respective journal to total cites received in the respective years, analyzed for post-publication years 0–7. (C, D) Kinetics of journal self-cites and foreign cites. The annual shares were calculated by dividing annual number of cites by the respective journal cites by the total number of cites by the respective journal received during post-publication years 0–7. Shown are annual shares of cites by Science Signaling (black circles), Science (white circles), Nature (black triangles), Nature series journals (white triangles) and Nature Immunology (black squares).
Mentions: The journal self-citations to Science Signaling (Fig 4) peaked already during the post-publication year 1 (155 self-cites, 37.3% of journal self-cites received in post-publication years 0–5), and decreased to just 89 (21.4%) and 82 (19.7%) in post-publication years 1 and 2. The sharp decrease continued in later years, with the annual number of journal self-cites reaching 52 (12.5%), 23 (5.5%) and just 15 (3.6%) in post-publication years 3, 4 and 5, respectively. The decrease of a total number of journal self-cites reached 42.6% during post-publication year 1, then it remained at moderate 7.9% during post-publication year 2, and increased to 34.8–55.8% in post-publication years 3–5 (Fig 4C, black circles). The kinetics of foreign cites to the journal did not show such pattern even when the top-tier journal of the same publisher was analyzed separately (Fig 4C, white circles); similar data were received when analyzing the share of citations received from Nature, Nature Immunology and any Nature series journals. In all these cases, the share of citations received during the post-publication year 0 was low, among 7.0–14.3% but increased to 18.5–34.3% during post-publication year 1, with citations from Nature and Nature series journals continuing in their rise also during post-publication year 2. In later years, the share of citations received from any of these journals decreased similarly as the journal self-cites did (Fig 4C). The above differences were much more prominent when the data were plotted as a ratio of citations received from the respective journal relative to the total number of citations received during the given post-publication year. The ratios of citations received from any of the analyzed journals but Science Signaling displayed mutually similar kinetics with slightly higher values during post-publication year 0, and a plateau during the next years analyzed. In contrast, the ratio of journals self-cites reached 19.0% during the post-publication year 0, whereas it dropped to just 2.4% during post-publication year 1, and was even lower (1.7–0.9%) in later post-publication years analyzed (Fig 4A).

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.