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Archive for the ‘impact factor’ Category

Bentham open access journal accepted nonsense manuscript

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

The previous post described various commercial open access publishers spamming for book chapters and journal articles. Now I read that Phil Davis at the blog The Scholarly Kitchen sent a SCIgen-generated nonsense manuscript to “The Open Information Science Journal” published by Bentham. Four months later Bentham accepted the paper and offered to publish it for a $800 fee. No reviews were provided with the acceptance letter.

It looks like at least some of these commercial open access publishers are essentially vanity presses that will publish anything for a hefty fee. It is a shame they are doing this since they may drag down the reputation of reputable open access publishers, such as PLoS. Another danger is that we will see even more use of pseudo-scientific rankings and measures of the impact of journals based on citations just so that people can filter out all the meaningless junk. I suppose no one is any longer interested in reading the actual articles.

In defense of open access journals, a journal called “Applied Mathematics and Computation” which has been published by Elsevier since 1975 has apparently also accepted an automatically generated nonsense paper.

Bibliometrics: How easy it is to manipulate citation counts

Friday, June 4th, 2010

There is a trend to use citation counts as an estimator of scientific esteem of journals, university departments, and even individual researchers. Douglas Arnold has written an interesting editorial on the danger of relying on such citation counts to evaluate anything (pdf copy). The editorial provides evidence of just how easy it is to manipulate citation counts. I find the examples provided very disturbing. I would encourage anyone concerned with bibliometrics to read this article.

Bibliometrics: The importance of conference papers in computer science

Friday, May 28th, 2010

In this month’s issue of Communications of the ACM there is a paper that shows that selective ACM conference papers are on par, or better than, journal articles in terms of citation counts.

From the paper:

“First and foremost, computing researchers are right to view conferences as an important archival venue and use acceptance rate as an indicator of future impact. Papers in highly selective conferences—acceptance rates of 30% or less—should continue to be treated as first-class research contributions with impact comparable to, or better than, journal papers.”

Considering that the authors only compared these conference papers against the top-tier journals (ACM Transactions), their finding is surprisingly strong. It also strengthens my view that in computer science, selective conference papers are as good, if not better, than journal articles.