A Large-Scale Analysis of Impact Factor Biased Journal Self-Citations

Authors : Caspar Chorus, Ludo Waltman

Based on three decades of citation data from across scientific fields of science, we study trends in impact factor biased self-citations of scholarly journals, using a purpose-built and easy to use citation based measure.

Our measure is given by the ratio between i) the relative share of journal self-citations to papers published in the last two years, and ii) the relative share of journal self-citations to papers published in preceding years.

A ratio higher than one suggests that a journal’s impact factor is disproportionally affected (inflated) by self-citations. Using recently reported survey data, we show that there is a relation between high values of our proposed measure and coercive journal self-citation malpractices.

We use our measure to perform a large-scale analysis of impact factor biased journal self-citations. Our main empirical result is, that the share of journals for which our measure has a (very) high value has remained stable between the 1980s and the early 2000s, but has since risen strongly in all fields of science.

This time span corresponds well with the growing obsession with the impact factor as a journal evaluation measure over the last decade.

Taken together, this suggests a trend of increasingly pervasive journal self-citation malpractices, with all due unwanted consequences such as inflated perceived importance of journals and biased journal rankings.

URL : A Large-Scale Analysis of Impact Factor Biased Journal Self-Citations

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0161021

Playing games at the Library: Seriously?

Authors: Cécile Swiatek, Myriam Gorsse

During the past ten years, libraries have been developing gaming activities from library board games to mystery games and immersive roleplaying games.

This article aims at giving a general overview of gaming issues in French academic libraries. General gaming theories are quickly reviewed, basic keys are given about how and why to set up a gaming service and department at the academic library, concrete and recent initiatives are presented.

This article focuses on non-virtual and public-oriented games that were already organised in and by libraries. More generally, it underlines how to use gaming activities for promoting organisational innovation.

It concludes on the necessity to settle a strategy for gaming activities, to enforce management practices, and on the importance to publicise the initiatives by establishing a public gaming policy and programme, and by formalising communication plans, staff training and knowledge management.

The results of this fact study highlight how gaming activities are becoming a new reality for libraries, which requires a proper management perspective.

URL : https://www.liberquarterly.eu/article/10.18352/lq.10161/

Sharing data increases citations

Authors: Thea Marie Drachen, Ole Ellegaard, Asger Væring Larsen, Søren Bertil Fabricius Dorch

This paper presents some indications to the existence of a citation advantage related to sharing data using astrophysics as a case. Through bibliometric analyses we find a citation advantage for astrophysical papers in core journals.

The advantage arises as indexed papers are associated with data by bibliographical links, and consists of papers receiving on average significantly more citations per paper per year, than do papers not associated with links to data.

DOI : https://www.liberquarterly.eu/article/10.18352/lq.10149/

Open data et droit de la donnée : les collectivités à l’épreuve des réglementations européennes

Auteurs/Authors : Dann Goncalves, Samuel Rufat

Les institutions européennes ont promu l’harmonisation, le partage et la réutilisation des données publiques et en particulier des données géographiques avec plusieurs directives entre 2003 et 2013.

Mais au cours des 10 dernières années, cette harmonisation et cette ouverture des données s’est révélée être un processus lent et nécessitant un important effort de la part de l’ensemble des acteurs publics, à différentes échelles. Et les collectivités locales semblent être « en retard » au regard des autres échelons européens.

Cet article fait l’hypothèse que le choix de la thématique environnementale correspondait à une stratégie de mobilisation des acteurs sur une dimension porteuse pour les citoyens européens, mais que ce choix n’était pas le plus adapté pour les collectivités territoriales.

L’article propose d’interroger à différentes échelles les difficultés réglementaires, techniques et politiques de mise en œuvre des réglementations européennes, d’harmonisation et d’ouverture des données géographiques.

Il s’appuie sur une enquête auprès des collectivités locales pour comparer les situations à l’échelle la plus fine en Espagne, en France, au Portugal et au Royaume-Uni.

URL : http://cybergeo.revues.org/27750

The Post-Embargo Open Access Citation Advantage: It Exists (Probably), Its Modest (Usually), and the Rich Get Richer (of Course)

Author : Jim Ottaviani

Many studies show that open access (OA) articles—articles from scholarly journals made freely available to readers without requiring subscription fees—are downloaded, and presumably read, more often than closed access/subscription-only articles.

Assertions that OA articles are also cited more often generate more controversy. Confounding factors (authors may self-select only the best articles to make OA; absence of an appropriate control group of non-OA articles with which to compare citation figures; conflation of pre-publication vs. published/publisher versions of articles, etc.) make demonstrating a real citation difference difficult.

This study addresses those factors and shows that an open access citation advantage as high as 19% exists, even when articles are embargoed during some or all of their prime citation years. Not surprisingly, better (defined as above median) articles gain more when made OA.

URL : The Post-Embargo Open Access Citation Advantage: It Exists (Probably), Its Modest (Usually), and the Rich Get Richer (of Course)

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0159614

Continuing Professional Education in Open Access : a French-German Survey

Authors : Achim Oßwald, Joachim Schöpfel, Bernard Jacquemin

While open access (OA) has become a significant part of scientific communication and academic publishing, qualification issues have been out of focus in the OA community until recent years.

Based on findings about the qualification for OA within university-based programs in France and Germany the authors surveyed continuing professional education activities regarding OA in both countries in the years 2012-2015.

The results indicate that there are different types of events qualifying for OA and reveal a lack of coherent concepts for different target groups. Until now traditional presentation formats have been dominant.

Formats for distance learning, like MOOCs or webinars, might serve different needs and interests.

URL : https://www.liberquarterly.eu/articles/10.18352/lq.10158/

Measuring Altruistic Impact: A Model for Understanding the Social Justice of Open Access

Authors : Margaret Heller, Franny Gaede


Traditional assessment of ways in which open access initiatives and institutional repositories have provided a return on investment normally use pragmatic measures such as download counts and citation benefits.

This pragmatic approach misses out on the powerful altruistic impact of improving access to international and/or marginalized communities. Using a frame of social justice, this article considers the importance of developing altruistic measures of repositories, particularly for institutions with missions specifically related to social justice and related themes.


Using web analytics data for search keywords from eight institutions and geographic usage data from nine institutions, the authors were able to determine how well social justice related content is accessed by search engines and how much overall content is accessed internationally, particularly by lower-resourced countries.

A social justice term list was developed to permit corpus overlap analysis with each institution’s search keywords, while the World Bank country income lists were used to determine international access by low and low-middle income countries.


Universities with mission statements explicitly mentioning social justice or Catholic social teaching had greater overlap with the social justice corpus. Low and low-middle income countries as defined by the World Bank were among the most engaged users.

All institutions had at least one social justice search term in their top ten; Marquette University had five. Collection development in social science and environmental sustainability at Loyola University Chicago successfully increased this term overlap year-over-year and increased user engagement as measured by session length.


The results of this exploratory study indicate that it is possible to use repository data to evaluate the success of an institution’s open access and social justice initiatives. The year-over-year improvement of Loyola’s numbers suggest in addition that it is possible to increase social justice impact through collection development.

Performing an analysis of social justice impact can be used as an overall strategy for repository success and outreach on campus, particularly for institutions where social justice is an important part of the campus identity. For repositories in need of further resources, the ability to quantify impact for university administrators and decision-makers may be of use.


For institutions with a social justice mission, improving social justice content may improve repository ranking in social justice related search results. Collection development strategies should focus on departments and/or individuals who are working in social justice related areas, which defined broadly could encompass much of an institution.

For institutions that emphasize social justice, it may be easier to approach faculty who might not otherwise have an interest in open access issues.

URL : Measuring Altruistic Impact: A Model for Understanding the Social Justice of Open Access

DOI : http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2132