Editor steps down from journal while it investigates citation irregularities

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:

The Editor has agreed to temporarily step down while an investigation into allegations of irregular citations in the journal takes place. We are unable to go into any more detail at the moment.

The journal’s website still lists Cerdà as the editor of the journal — which saw its Impact Factor rise dramatically from 3.089 in 2014 to 8.145 in 2015.

Last week, we covered the announcement by the European Geophysical Union that one of its editors had resigned from two journals (SOIL and SE) after the publisher discovered he or she had engaged in citation manipulation — boosting citations to his or her own papers and associated journals.

The publisher would not confirm the identity of the editor in question.

Cerdà was listed as an editor of both SOIL and SE until sometime last year, but is no longer.

He has not responded to requests for comment.

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