On Good and Bad Intentions behind Anomalous Citation Patterns among Journals in Computer Sciences

by   Joyita Chakraborty, et al.
IIIT Delhi

Scientific journals are an important choice of publication venue for most authors. Publishing in prestigious journal plays a decisive role for authors in hiring and promotions. In last decade, citation pressure has become intact for all scientific entities more than ever before. Unethical publication practices has started to manipulate widely used performance metric such as "impact factor" for journals and citation based indices for authors. This threatens the integrity of scientific quality and takes away deserved credit of legitimate authors and their authentic publications. In this paper we extract all possible anomalous citation patterns between journals from a Computer Science bibliographic dataset which contains more than 2,500 journals. Apart from excessive self-citations, we mostly focus on finding several patterns between two or more journals such as bi-directional mutual citations, chains, triangles, mesh, cartel relationships. On a macroscopic scale, the motivation is to understand the nature of these patterns by modeling how journals mutually interact through citations. On microscopic level, we differentiate between possible intentions (good or bad) behind such patterns. We see whether such patterns prevail for long period or during any specific time duration. For abnormal citation behavior, we study the nature of sudden inflation in impact factor of journals on a time basis which may occur due to addition of irrelevant and superfluous citations in such closed pattern interaction. We also study possible influences such as abrupt increase in paper count due to the presence of self-referential papers or duplicate manuscripts, author self-citation, author co-authorship network, author-editor network, publication houses etc. The entire study is done to question the reliability of existing bibliometrics, and hence, it is an urgent need to curtail their usage or redefine them.


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