V The Wall Street Journal je objavljena zgodba o tem, kako nekateri uredniki skusajo dvigniti faktor vpliva (Impact Factor -IF) svojim znanstvenim casopisom. Iz clanka ni povsem jasno, kako razsirjena je ta praksa, a poda nekaj pomenjivih primerov in podatkov
In July, a publication called Scientific World Journal retracted two papers about regenerative medicine, saying
they had excessively cited another journal, Cell Transplantation.
…In the blog, Mr. Davis noted that a review article published in another journal, Medical Science Monitor, had cited a total of 490 articles in the field, of which 445 were articles that had appeared in Cell Transplantation alone, in 2008 and 2009. …Mr. Davis notes three of the four editors of the Medical Science Monitor review article were also on Cell Transplantation’s editorial board. Also, two MSM editors wrote a review in another journal, The Scientific World Journal, citing 124 papers. Of those, 96 were from Cell Transplantation in 2008 and 2009.
“Those two review articles alone were responsible for a more-than-50% increase in Cell Transplantation’s impact factor for 2010,” says Mr. Davis.
Stvar je pomembna, ker znanstvene agencije uporabljajo IF za ovrednotenje znanstvenikov (med drugim tudi ARRS v svoji “formuli”). Prav strasljiv je naslednji podatek:
The IF is easily gamed, too. One in five academics in economics, sociology, psychology and business said they had been asked by editors to pad their papers with unnecessary citations to articles in the same journal, according to a study published in Science in February.
In ponekod ze reagirajo:
Such occurrences have spurred a backlash. In 2010, for example, the Australian government said it would no longer use IFs in judging grant applications.