Last year, the soil science community was rocked by reports that an editor, Artemi Cerdà, was accused of citation stacking — asking authors to cite particular papers — boosting his profile, and that of journals where he worked. (Cerdà has denied the allegations.) The case had some major fallout: Cerdàresigned from two journals and the editorial board of Geoderma, additional editors resigned from their posts, and a university launched an investigation. In the midst of the mess, a group of early career scientists in the field released an open letter, urging the leaders of the community “to establish a clear road map as to how this crisis will be handled and which actions will be taken to avoid future misconducts.” Today, Jan Willem van Groenigen, Chair of the Editors in Chief of Geoderma, along with other editors at the journal, published a response to those letter-writers — including a list of the 13 papers that added 83 citations the journal has deemed “unwarranted.” The editorial includes a list of “actions we have taken to prevent citation stacking from recurring and to further strengthen the transparency of the review process” — including monitoring editors and showing authors how to report suspicious conduct.
Although the reason for the retractions may sound odd, the editor, Minvydas Ragulskis, told Retraction Watch he was concerned an author had engaged in citation manipulation. Specifically, Ragulskis explained that the majority of the citations came from papers at a 2017 conference on which one of the authors, Magd Abdel Wahab, was chair—raising suspicion that he had asked conference presenters to cite his work.
Almost three-quarters of papers that cited Wahab’s work originated from the conference, which “is large enough to assume a high probability for citation manipulation,” Ragulskis said. (Wahab, Professor and Chair of Applied Mechanics at Ghent University in Belgium, was not a co-author on the conference papers that cited his work.)
A university in Malaysia has instructed its engineering faculty to cite at least three papers by their colleagues; the more citations a university accrues, the better its ranking in many international surveys. We obtained the original notice, dated August 3 and released by the University of Malaya, and translated it via One Hour Translation. Our English version says:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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?Continue reading How to spot a “citation cartel”