Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘citation manipulation’ Category

Another editor resigns from journal hit by citation scandal

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Another editor has resigned from an earth science journal following allegations over citation irregularities, which also took down its editor-in-chief.

According to Land Degradation & Development website, editor Paolo Pereira has stepped down from the journal. The journal does not say why, and a spokesperson for publisher Wiley did not elaborate. The website has included the announcement about Pereira above a longer statement regarding citation issues at the journal, which saw its Impact Factor rise dramatically from 3.089 in 2014 to 8.145 in 2015.

Pereira — based at Mykolas Romeris University in Lithuania — has co-authored multiple papers with Artemi Cerdà of the University of Valencia in Spain, who stepped down as editor-in-chief of the journal earlier this year.

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Written by Alison McCook

April 7th, 2017 at 11:54 am

Ousted editor speaks: I did not manipulate citations

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Artemi Cerdà

Last month, a publisher announced that one of its editors had resigned, following accusations he’d asked authors to cite particular papers, boosting his profile and that of journals where he worked. The publisher declined to name the editor. But when an anonymous report began circulating about the incident, the publisher named the researcher: Artemi Cerdà, based at the Universitat de València.

Cerdà has since resigned from other journals, but hadn’t made any public statements that we could find about the incident — until now.

We spoke with Cerdà, who asserted repeatedly that he had not forced authors to add citations to their papers, and was being unfairly accused by journals who had to explain why their impact factors had risen dramatically:

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Written by Alison McCook

March 24th, 2017 at 9:30 am

An editor in chief was caught manipulating citations. Now he’s been asked to resign.

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Artemi Cerdà

An earth science journal has asked an editor to resign after it was revealed he had been manipulating citations at multiple journals.

Artemi Cerdà had already agreed to step down temporarily from Land Degradation & Development after the publisher, Wiley, was alerted that Cerdà had resigned from other journals for citation manipulation. In a new statement, the journal announces that Cerdà’s resignation has become permanent.

Here’s the entire statement:

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Written by Alison McCook

March 21st, 2017 at 1:35 pm

Citation-boosting episode leads to editors’ resignations, university investigation

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Artemi Cerdà

The fallout from an investigation into alleged citation-boosting at several journals that we first reported on two weeks ago has widened, leading to the resignation of the executive editor of one of the journals, and an investigation at a university in The Netherlands.

On February 13, the European Geosciences Union (EGU) announced that an editor at two of its journals had resigned following an investigation by the EGU and its publishing arm, Copernicus, into citation-boosting. They declined to name the editor in question. Last week, we reported that the editor in chief of a Wiley journal, Land Degradation & Development, has temporarily stepped down while the journal investigated similar concerns about why the journal’s impact factor had jumped dramatically recently.

Others — many cleared in the EGU’s investigation — have been swept up in the ongoing story. Here’s what has happened in the last two weeks: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

March 3rd, 2017 at 8:00 am

Editor steps down from journal while it investigates citation irregularities

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Artemi Cerdà

The editor of the journal Land Degradation & Development has stepped down amidst an investigation into citation problems at the journal.

The editor, Artemi Cerdà of the University of Valencia in Spain, has also disappeared from the list of editors at two journals published by the European Geosciences Union, which recently announced that one of its editors had engaged in citation manipulation.

Here’s a statement we just received from a spokesperson for Wiley, which publishes Land Degradation & Development:

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Written by Alison McCook

February 24th, 2017 at 11:35 am

Editor resigns from two journals after “considerable” citation boosting attempts

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An editor at two European Geosciences Union journals has resigned following revelations that he or she engaged in citation manipulation — boosting citations to his or her own papers and associated journals.

Here’s a letter announcing the news, signed by EGU publication committee chair Hubert Savenije, that ran in several EGU journals earlier this week: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

February 17th, 2017 at 10:04 am

How to spot a “citation cartel”

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Iztok Fister Jr

Do you know the difference between a group of researchers in the same field who cite each other’s related work, and a group of authors who purposefully cite each other in order to boost their own profiles? It’s not easy to do, say researchers in a new article about so-called “Citation cartels.” In Frontiers in Physics, Matjaz Perc and two Iztok Fisters (Senior and Junior) from the University of Maribor in Slovenia present an algorithm to help identify groups of researchers citing each other for overly collegial reasons. (For more on the phenomenon, see a recent column in STAT by our co-founders.) We spoke with first author Iztok Fister Jr.

Retraction Watch: What exactly are “citation cartels”? How do they differ from groups of researchers in the same field who tend to cite each other because their research is related in some way, without any nefarious intent? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

January 18th, 2017 at 9:30 am

Authors in 2014 peer review ring lose 4 more papers each for “compromised” review

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human factors and ergonomicsA journal is pulling additional papers authored by twin brothers for peer review issues.

After retracting three papers by Cheng-Wu Chen earlier this year for “compromised” peer reviewHuman Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing & Service Industries is now pulling four more by Chen for the same reason — and four others by his twin brother, Chen-Yuan Chen, who was a the center of a peer review ring that SAGE busted in 2014.

Cheng-Wu Chen lost 21 papers during that episode. He’s now up to 28; Chen-Yuan Chen, who also goes by Peter Chen, is now up to 43. Both are present on our leaderboard.

The notes, which appear in the March/April issue of the journal, are all identical, and also cite issues with citations:

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Crime journal’s meteoric rise due to questionable self-citation: analysis

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JCJShould it be a crime for editors to cite work in their own journal?

Last year, the Journal of Criminal Justice became the top-ranked journal in the field of criminology, but critics say that its meteoric rise is due in part to the editor’s penchant for self-citation.

As Thomas Baker of the University of Central Florida, writes in the September/October issue of the The Criminologist, a newsletter of the American Society of Criminology: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Brendan Borrell

September 22nd, 2015 at 8:30 am

Citation manipulation the last straw for modified rice straw paper

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jnm_coverThe Journal of Nanomaterials has retracted a paper on modified rice straw over citation manipulation.

Rice straw, which makes up nearly half of the biomass in rice plants, is generally considered agricultural waste. However, in recent years scientists have discovered ways to modify the raw material to make it capable of absorbing heavy metal ions, making it useful to both prevent and clean up pollution from industrial processes.

The retracted paper, which analyzed the physical properties of different kinds of modified rice straw, was retracted for citation manipulation.

Here’s the short (and to the point) retraction for “Mechanical and Thermal Stability Properties of Modified Rice Straw Fiber Blend with Polycaprolactone Composite”: Read the rest of this entry »