Is Scopus Polluting Its Own Database by Indexing Junk articles? A Case Study of Five Journals

Author : Jackie Earle Haley

The aim of this short research note is to demonstrate that Scopus is polluting its own databases, unintentionally or otherwise, by indexing junk articles. I have used five journals indexed by Scopus in this research note as examples in a case study format.

I have found that the publication rate of junk articles for these five journals increased after they began to be indexed in Scopus. These journals are publishing conference papers and graduate students’ initial research reports in which there are many errors.

This makes the indexing of The Journal of Social Sciences Research (Online ISSN: 2411-9458/Print ISSN: 2413-6670) questionable as it was considered for evaluation before its current two year publication history.

The quality of its published articles is very poor, and it has advertised and promoted false figures for its impact factors. These journals publish articles that are out of their scope and publish every article on condition of payment of a fee by the author that averages out to about 400 USD per article.

Given that these journals have been advertising and promoting fake impact factors prior to their being indexed in Scopus and given that Scopus has included them in its central index, they are deceiving young researchers and the broader academic community with false information.

Beall (2016) has previously pointed out the issue of the falsified impact factor information in his list of predatory journals. Many universities subscribe to Scopus to, among other reasons, measure the impact of their faculty members’ research.

There is therefore a need to address the ethics of this situation, and this study recommends that Scopus carefully index new journals but observe the publication rates of junk articles, and if an indexed journal makes such an error, to take a decision within three months and impose a lifetime ban on indexing the journal.

URL : https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3322183

Merits and Limits: Applying open data to monitor open access publications in bibliometric databases

Authors : Aliakbar Akbaritabar, Stephan Stahlschmidt

Identifying and monitoring Open Access (OA) publications might seem a trivial task while practical efforts prove otherwise. Contradictory information arise often depending on metadata employed.

We strive to assign OA status to publications in Web of Science (WOS) and Scopus while complementing it with different sources of OA information to resolve contradicting cases.

We linked publications from WOS and Scopus via DOIs and ISSNs to Unpaywall, Crossref, DOAJ and ROAD. Only about 50% of articles and reviews from WOS and Scopus could be matched via a DOI to Unpaywall.

Matching with Crossref brought 56 distinct licences, which define in many cases the legally binding access status of publications. But only 44% of publications hold only a single licence on Crossref, while more than 50% have no licence information submitted to Crossref.

Contrasting OA information from Crossref licences with Unpaywall we found contradictory cases overall amounting to more than 25%, which might be partially explained by (ex-)including green OA.

A further manual check found about 17% of OA publications that are not accessible and 15% non-OA publications that are accessible through publishers’ websites. These preliminary results suggest that identification of OA state of publications denotes a difficult and currently unfulfilled task.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1902.03937

A Very Long Embargo: Journal Choice Reveals Active Non-Compliance with Funder Open Access Policies by Australian and Canadian Neuroscientists

Authors: Shaun Yon-Seng Khoo, Belinda Po Pyn Lay

Research funders around the world have implemented open access policies that require funded research to be made open access, usually by self-archiving, within 12 months of publication.

Elsevier is unique among major science publishers because it produces several journals with non-compliant self-archiving embargoes of more than 12 months. We used Elsevier’s Scopus database to study the rate at which Australian and Canadian neuroscientists publish in Elsevier’s non-compliant (embargoes > 12 months) and compliant journals (embargoes ≤ 12 months).

We also examined publications in immediate open access neuroscience journals that had the DOAJ Seal and neuroscience publications in open access mega-journals. We found that the implementation of Australian and Canadian funder open access policies in 2012/2013 and 2015 did not reduce the number of publications in non-compliant journals.

Instead, scientific output in all publication types increased with the greatest growth in immediate open access journals. This data suggests that funder open access policies that are similar to the Australian and Canadian policies are likely to have little effect beyond an association with a general cultural trend towards open access.

URL : A Very Long Embargo: Journal Choice Reveals Active Non-Compliance with Funder Open Access Policies by Australian and Canadian Neuroscientists

DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/lq.10252

 

arXiv popularity from a citation analysis point of view

Author : Alireza Noruzi

This study aims to provide an overview of the citation rate of arXiv.org since its launch in August 1991, based on the Scopus citation database. The total number of citations to arXiv in Scopus in the 26 year period was 135,782 of which the highest number of citations was 23,288 in 2016.

It is also shown that arXiv-deposited papers are highly cited by physics and astronomy, mathematics, computer science, and engineering. It can be seen that researchers from the United States, Germany, China, United Kingdom, France, and Italy cite arXiv-deposited papers more than others.

The analysis of document types indicates that articles rank first with 69% of all Scopus documents citing arXiv from 1991-2016, followed by conference papers (24.7%), reviews (3.2%), and book chapters (1.5%).

It can be concluded that arXiv is cited increasingly by different subject areas, by different languages (especially English, Chinese and French), and by various countries.

URL : http://eprints.rclis.org/31996/

Betweenness and diversity in journal citation networks as measures of interdisciplinarity—A tribute to Eugene Garfield

Authors : Loet Leydesdorff, Caroline S. Wagner, Lutz Bornmann

Journals were central to Eugene Garfield’s research interests. Among other things, journals are considered as units of analysis for bibliographic databases such as the Web of Science and Scopus. In addition to providing a basis for disciplinary classifications of journals, journal citation patterns span networks across boundaries to variable extents.

Using betweenness centrality (BC) and diversity, we elaborate on the question of how to distinguish and rank journals in terms of interdisciplinarity. Interdisciplinarity, however, is difficult to operationalize in the absence of an operational definition of disciplines; the diversity of a unit of analysis is sample-dependent. BC can be considered as a measure of multi-disciplinarity.

Diversity of co-citation in a citing document has been considered as an indicator of knowledge integration, but an author can also generate trans-disciplinary—that is, non-disciplined—variation by citing sources from other disciplines.

Diversity in the bibliographic coupling among citing documents can analogously be considered as diffusion  or differentiation of knowledge across disciplines. Because the citation networks in the cited direction reflect both structure and variation, diversity in this direction is perhaps the best available measure of interdisciplinarity at the journal level.

Furthermore, diversity is based on a summation and can therefore be decomposed; differences among (sub)sets can be tested for statistical significance. In the appendix, a general-purpose routine for measuring diversity in networks is provided.

URL : Betweenness and diversity in journal citation networks as measures of interdisciplinarity—A tribute to Eugene Garfield

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-017-2528-2

 

 

Prevalence and citation advantage of gold open access in the subject areas of the Scopus database

Authors : Pablo Dorta-González, Yolanda Santana-Jiménez

The potential benefit of open access (OA) in relation to citation impact has been discussed in the literature in depth. The methodology used to test the OA citation advantage includes comparing OA vs. non-OA journal impact factors and citations of OA versus non-OA articles published in the same non-OA journals.

However, one problem with many studies is that they are small -restricted to a discipline or set of journals-. Moreover, conclusions are not entirely consistent among research areas and ‘early view’ and ‘selection bias’ have been suggested as possible explications. In the present paper, an analysis of gold OA from across all areas of research -the 27 subject areas of the Scopus database- is realized.

As a novel contribution, this paper takes a journal-level approach to assessing the OA citation advantage, whereas many others take a paper-level approach. Data were obtained from Scimago Lab, sorted using Scopus database, and tagged as OA/non-OA using the DOAJ list.

Jointly with the OA citation advantage, the OA prevalence as well as the differences between access types (OA vs. non-OA) in production and referencing are tested. A total of 3,737 OA journals (16.8%) and 18,485 non-OA journals (83.2%) published in 2015 are considered. As the main conclusion, there is no generalizable gold OA citation advantage at journal level.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1708.06242

The coverage of Microsoft Academic: Analyzing the publication output of a university

Authors : Sven E. Hug, Martin P. Brändle

This is the first in-depth study on the coverage of Microsoft Academic (MA). The coverage of a verified publication list of a university was analyzed on the level of individual publications in MA, Scopus, and Web of Science (WoS).

Citation counts were analyzed and issues related to data retrieval and data quality were examined. A Perl script was written to retrieve metadata from MA. We find that MA covers journal articles, working papers, and conference items to a substantial extent. MA surpasses Scopus and WoS clearly with respect to book-related document types and conference items but falls slightly behind Scopus with regard to journal articles.

MA shows the same biases as Scopus and WoS with regard to the coverage of the social sciences and humanities, non-English publications, and open-access publications. Rank correlations of citation counts are high between MA and the benchmark databases.

We find that the publication year is correct for 89.5% of all publications and the number of authors for 95.1% of the journal articles. Given the fast and ongoing development of MA, we conclude that MA is on the verge of becoming a bibliometric superpower. However, comprehensive studies on the quality of MA data are still lacking.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1703.05539