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Publications 2018, 6(4), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/publications6040047

Journals that Rise from the Fourth Quartile to the First Quartile in Six Years or Less: Mechanisms of Change and the Role of Journal Self-Citations

Departamento de Física y Matemáticas, Universidad de Alcalá, Alcalá de Henares, 28871 Madrid, Spain
Received: 6 September 2018 / Revised: 24 October 2018 / Accepted: 20 November 2018 / Published: 26 November 2018
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Abstract

Journal self-citations may be increased artificially to inflate a journal’s scientometric indicators. The aim of this study was to identify possible mechanisms of change in a cohort of journals that rose from the fourth (Q4) to the first quartile (Q1) over six years or less in Journal Citation Reports (JCR), and the role of journal self-citations in these changes. A total of 51 different journals sampled from all JCR Science Citation Index (SCI) subject categories improved their rank position from Q4 in 2009 to Q1 in any year from 2010 to 2015. I identified changes in the numerator or denominator of the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) that were involved in each year-to-year transition. The main mechanism of change was the increase in the number of citations used to compute the JIF. The effect of journal self-citations in the increase of the JIF was studied. The main conclusion is that there was no evidence of widespread JIF manipulation through the overuse of journal self-citations. View Full-Text
Keywords: journal rankings; web of science categories; journal impact factor; journal self-citations journal rankings; web of science categories; journal impact factor; journal self-citations
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Campanario, J.M. Journals that Rise from the Fourth Quartile to the First Quartile in Six Years or Less: Mechanisms of Change and the Role of Journal Self-Citations. Publications 2018, 6, 47.

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