03 June, 2010

Pumping the journal impact factor

I found a funny last year story at the forum of Russian researchers. A guy (nicknamed ST) quotes a message that he got from the Editor of one of the physics journals after submitting a paper there:

"Editor's Final Remark
In addition to the reviewers' comments given above, I recommend the authors to address and cite the relevant articles published in "....Journal ....". Such improvement on the revised version of the manuscript would not only provide a solid background to the readers regarding the current state-of-knowledge on this topic, but also promote the awareness of the available information resources in "... Journal ....". I would appreciate authors' concern and sensitivity on this matter."

So, the Editor not even encourages, but 'recommends' citing his own journal. And such 'improvements on the revised versions of manuscripts' seem to work: in his post ST mentions that the impact factor of this journal raised from 2.7 to 3.4 within one year, which is quite a jump.

Cheating is unscientific.

Take care,


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