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Re: Query about journal (not author) self-citation rates  Lloyd A.Davidson
 Mar 25, 2003 17:58 PST 
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For what it's worth, ISI's Journal Citation Reports has a listing for each
journal (e.g. Cell) of:

Number of times articles published in 2001 (in journals below) cited
articles published in CELL (in years below)
Impact    Citing Journal All
Yrs 2001   2000   1999 1998      1997    1996   1995 1994   1993 1992
Rest
            All
Journals 146225   1837   8747 11443   13119   16026   14265 13174 12105
11653 7943 35913
7.258      J BIOL
CHEM   11442      98   678     913   1155     1420    1131   1166   844
781    676   2580
9.836    MOL CELL
BIOL    3764      18   213     348    391      523     365    372   239
251    228   816
10.896           PNAS     3427      65   294     341    345      468
320    277   222   211    157   727
6.737       ONCOGENE      2874      17   181     180    253      385
300    272   217   239    192   638

and

Number of times articles published in journals below (in years below) were
cited in CELL in 2001
Impact Cited Journal All
Yrs 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992   Rest
         All
Journals   15779 1206 2793 2344 1865 1407 1196   905   749   584
428   2302
29.219     CELL         1753   168   261   230   194   161   132   102
104   85     64    252
27.955   NATURE         1212    94   239   148   134   103   105    72
68   34     30    185

Some of the information you are seeking might be extractable from these
tables. At least they provide a place to start.


At 05:51 PM 3/25/2003 -0500, you wrote:
 [Forwarding from Stevan Harnad. --Peter.]


Author self-citation rates are easily calculated and corrected for.
One can always subtract self-citations from an author's citation
count. But what about journal self-citations (by which I mean
articles in a journal citing other articles in that same journal)?

In both cases -- author self-citation and journal self-citation -- the
self-citations may be legitimate and necessary, or they may be
excessive and inflated. In the case of journals, it is no doubt
possible that the majority of the important and relevant work happens
to be done in the pages of that journal.

But because journals are often evaluated on the basis of their impact
factors (by libraries, choosing which journals to purchase, by authors,
choosing which journals to submit to, and by grant-funders and research
assessors, choosing which research and researchers to hire, fund, and
promote) there is every temptation to get those journal impact factors
as high as possible. The legitimate way is to attract the best research,
by maintaining the best peer-review standards, but a short-cut is to
encourage authors to cite the journal more often in their articles
(as a condition or inducement for acceptance in that journal).

Which leads me to my question: Has anyone done a systematic analysis
to test for this? One could calculate average rates for (S) journals
citing themselves (articles in the same journal, not self-citations
by its authors), (T) journals citing *to* other journals, (B) journals
cited *by* other journals (this could be done across as well as within
fields or even subfields). This could perhaps also be fine-tuned by the
citation-rates of the authors in the journals (their personal t and b
rates, across all their papers). This would give a preliminary picture
of which journals have inflated S-rates, relative to others, perhaps
weighted by the other factors, including google-like "authorities",
namely, high-impact, uninflated journals that can be used as bench-marks.
Even the possibility that a journal's higher S-rate is because it is the
only one in its subfield (or the only one at its level in the subfield)
could be tested using triangulation with the above variables.

Does anyone know of such studies? (Or of evidence of encouraging
self-citation in any way?)

It goes without saying that once the journal literature is open-access,
potential journal-based biases like this will be far less consequential,
because there will be many direct measures of a paper's or author's
research impact, among which the citation impact factor of the journal
in which the paper appeared will be a relatively minor one.
http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Temp/self-archiving.htm

Stevan Harnad

Lloyd Davidson, Ph.D.
Northwestern University Library
Evanston, IL 60208

847-491-2906




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<html>
For what it's worth, ISI's Journal Citation Reports has a listing for
each journal (e.g. Cell)  of:<br><br>
Number of times articles published in 2001 (in journals below) cited
articles published in CELL (in years below)<br>
<font face="Courier New, Courier" size=1>Impact    Citing
Journal All Yrs  2001   2000   1999 
1998      1997   
1996   1995  1994   1993  1992 
Rest     <br>
           All
Journals  146225   1837   8747 
11443   13119   16026   14265 
13174  12105 11653  7943  35913   <br>
7.258      J BIOL CHEM  
11442      98  
678     913   1155    
1420    1131   1166   844  
781    676   2580   <br>
9.836    MOL CELL BIOL   
3764      18  
213     348   
391      523    
365    372   239  
251    228   816   <br>
10.896          
PNAS     3427     
65   294     341   
345      468    
320    277   222  
211    157   727   <br>
6.737      
ONCOGENE      2874     
17   181     180   
253      385    
300    272   217  
239    192   638<br><br>
</font>and<br><br>
Number of times articles published in journals below (in years below)
were cited in CELL in 2001<br>
<font face="Courier New, Courier" size=1>Impact Cited Journal All
Yrs  2001  2000  1999  1998  1997 
1996  1995  1994  1993  1992  
Rest     <br>
<x-tab>        </x-tab>All
Journals   15779  1206  2793  2344 
1865  1407  1196   905   749  
584   428   2302   <br>
29.219    
CELL         1753  
168   261   230   194  
161   132   102   104  
85     64    252  <br>
27.955   NATURE        
1212    94   239   148  
134   103   105   
72    68   34    
30    185</font> <br><br>
Some of the information you are seeking might be extractable from these
tables.  At least they provide a place to start.<br><br>
<br>
At 05:51 PM 3/25/2003 -0500, you wrote:<br>
<blockquote type=cite class=cite cite>[Forwarding from Stevan
Harnad.  --Peter.]<br><br>
<br>
Author self-citation rates are easily calculated and corrected for.<br>
One can always subtract self-citations from an author's citation<br>
count. But what about journal self-citations (by which I mean<br>
articles in a journal citing other articles in that same journal)?<br>
<br>
In both cases -- author self-citation and journal self-citation --
the<br>
self-citations may be legitimate and necessary, or they may be<br>
excessive and inflated. In the case of journals, it is no doubt<br>
possible that the majority of the important and relevant work
happens<br>
to be done in the pages of that journal.<br><br>
But because journals are often evaluated on the basis of their
impact<br>
factors (by libraries, choosing which journals to purchase, by
authors,<br>
choosing which journals to submit to, and by grant-funders and
research<br>
assessors, choosing which research and researchers to hire, fund,
and<br>
promote) there is every temptation to get those journal impact
factors<br>
as high as possible. The legitimate way is to attract the best
research,<br>
by maintaining the best peer-review standards, but a short-cut is
to<br>
encourage authors to cite the journal more often in their articles<br>
(as a condition or inducement for acceptance in that journal).<br><br>
Which leads me to my question: Has anyone done a systematic
analysis<br>
to test for this? One could calculate average rates for (S)
journals<br>
citing themselves (articles in the same journal, not self-citations<br>
by its authors), (T) journals citing *to* other journals, (B)
journals<br>
cited *by* other journals (this could be done across as well as
within<br>
fields or even subfields). This could perhaps also be fine-tuned by
the<br>
citation-rates of the authors in the journals (their personal t and
b<br>
rates, across all their papers). This would give a preliminary
picture<br>
of which journals have inflated S-rates, relative to others,
perhaps<br>
weighted by the other factors, including google-like
"authorities",<br>
namely, high-impact, uninflated journals that can be used as
bench-marks.<br>
Even the possibility that a journal's higher S-rate is because it is
the<br>
only one in its subfield (or the only one at its level in the
subfield)<br>
could be tested using triangulation with the above variables.<br><br>
Does anyone know of such studies? (Or of evidence of encouraging<br>
self-citation in any way?)<br><br>
It goes without saying that once the journal literature is
open-access,<br>
potential journal-based biases like this will be far less
consequential,<br>
because there will be many direct measures of a paper's or author's<br>
research impact, among which the citation impact factor of the
journal<br>
in which the paper appeared will be a relatively minor one.<br>
<a href="http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Temp/self-archiving.htm" eudora="autourl">http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Temp/self-archiving.htm</a><br><br>
Stevan Harnad<br><br>
</blockquote>
<x-sigsep><p></x-sigsep>
Lloyd Davidson, Ph.D.<br>
Northwestern University Library<br>
Evanston, IL  60208<br><br>
847-491-2906<br><br>


</html>

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