Journal distances itself from cash for citations scheme after Retraction Watch report

A journal that appeared to be involved in a scheme in which authors were paid bonuses to cite its papers has said it “will not entertain cash requests from the individuals who claim to have cited our articles, nor shall we pay up.”

The comments come about a month after a Retraction Watch post detailing the scheme by Innoscience Research listing five journals, one of which was the International Journal of Bioprinting. Innoscience, who has not responded to requests for comment, does not publish the IJB; Whoice does. It’s unclear whether there is a relationship between the two companies.

In a statement dated October 9, the IJB wrote:

The Editorial Team of International Journal of Bioprinting is in receipt of inquiries about offering cash for researchers who cite our journal articles. This has been mentioned in a recent post on Retraction Watch that goes with the subject line “Publisher offers cash for citations.”

For the avoidance of any possible misunderstanding, the Publisher and Editorial Team hereby clarify that none of the in-house editors and members of editorial board have committed ourselves in gaming the metrics so as to increase the journal article citations. We do not and never agree, accept and allow such unorthodox and nonstandard practice when it comes to increasing the journal impact. For that reason, International Journal of Bioprinting will not entertain cash requests from the individuals who claim to have cited our articles, nor shall we pay up.

We would also like to clarify that our editorial decisions in submissions, selection of editorial board members, and integrity of articles are not affected by the affiliated commercial entities.

Indeed, we received a request for rewards ourselves from one researcher:

I have published an article entitled…There are six citations of your journals in my article. The citations are as follows. Please see the paper as the attachment. I want to claim the rewards from you.

We explained that the rewards were being offered by the publisher, not us, and asked him whether he thought being paid for citations was ethical.

He didn’t respond to that question, but asked for the publisher’s email address. We didn’t provide it.

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2 thoughts on “Journal distances itself from cash for citations scheme after Retraction Watch report”

  1. There is a link:
    Innoscience Research Sdn Bhd is linked and/or belongs to:
    http://www.innoscience.org/
    According to the ‘about us’ info they “reached comprehensive strategic cooperation with Beijing ZIKE Intellectual Property Agency, Australian Bio-Byword Scientific Publishing and Singapore’s Whioce Publishing.”
    So the journals on their websites are linked to the publisher:
    http://www.whioce.com/
    which can be found in the list of predatory journals: https://beallslist.net/
    According to their ‘history’ page they started with some sort of link to Universe Scientific Publishing in 2011:
    http://www.usp-pl.com/
    which can be found on the predatory publisher list as well.
    And Bio-Byword in 2017:
    http://www.bbwpublisher.com/
    they claim to publish a journal called “INNOSC Theranostics and Pharmacological Sciences (ITPS)” which is exactly the same journal as found on the whioce site.
    And surprise the Bio-Byword publisher is listed in the update of Beall’s list as well:
    https://beallslist.net/#update

  2. none of the in-house editors and members of editorial board have committed ourselves in gaming the metrics so as to increase the journal article citations

    “We haven’t signed a contract to cheat” is not quite the same as “We have promised not to cheat”.

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