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Brazilian Journals' Self-Citation Cartel Smashed

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the degree-in-science-seo-proves-worthless dept.

Spam 68

ananyo writes "Thomson Reuters has uncovered a Brazilian self-citation cartel in which editors of journals cited each other to boost their impact factors. The cartel grew out of frustration with the system for evaluating graduate programs, which places too much emphasis on publishing in 'top tier' journals, one of the editors claims. As emerging Brazilian journals are in the lowest ranks, few graduates want to publish in them. This vicious cycle, in his view, prevents local journals improving. Both the Brazilian education ministry and Thomson Reuters have censured the journals. The ministry says articles from the journals published in 2012-12 will not count in any future assessment, and Thomson Reuters has suspended their impact factors."

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I heard four Brazilian journals were suspended... (4, Funny)

QilessQi (2044624) | about a year ago | (#44695541)

...and my first thought was: Wow! How many zeros in a brazillion?

Re:I heard four Brazilian journals were suspended. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44695591)

only one small "0" is usually present in a Brazillian

Re:I heard four Brazilian journals were suspended. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44695651)

Whoosh.

Re:I heard four Brazilian journals were suspended. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44695751)

Whoosh.

Someone has a hairy girlfriend.

Re:I heard four Brazilian journals were suspended. (1)

Megane (129182) | about a year ago | (#44696049)

I don't know, but they sure got waxed!

A brazillion people (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44696567)

Google tells me [google.com] a brazillion is currently about 196.7 million.

Re:I heard four Brazilian journals were suspended. (1)

Rato Ruter (1008363) | about a year ago | (#44697807)

...and my first thought was: Wow! How many zeros in a brazillion?

Our population is about 200.000.000. Is this what a brazillion is? If so, eight zeros!

Re:I heard four Brazilian journals were suspended. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44701595)

As many as you can count in the time period of 2012-12!

Isn't it ironic (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44695561)

Metrics influence journals more than journals influence metrics.

Re:Isn't it ironic (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44695825)

You're not wrong, and it is not just impact factor metrics and the like either. I know of at least one university in Brazil which rates prospective employees publishing history uses a scoring system to which heavily encourages both publishing in Brazilian journals, and salami slicing - that is, breaking up a piece of work into lots of smaller less significant papers to boost your stats, rather than putting out a single good quality paper.

Self Citation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44699397)

Sounds like Climate Science

Here's the problem (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44695587)

The way I see it, the core of this problem lies in the perennial desire for Brazilians to gain recognition on the world stage. These idealistic but naive academics think that they can boost their country's reputation through hard work and determination. However, the fact of the matter is that Brazil is and always will remain a poor and negligible country, inferior to those where the journals they should be publishing in are based.

Re:Here's the problem (5, Informative)

slartibartfastatp (613727) | about a year ago | (#44695611)

When you read TFA, you might notice that 14 journals were suspendend - four of them are from Brasil. So keep your crap to yourself.

Re:Here's the problem (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44696657)

Brazil. Worlds number 1 producer of online douchebags.

Re:Here's the problem (4, Interesting)

sinij (911942) | about a year ago | (#44695665)

Back when I worked in science in my field it took about 2mil to conduct a study, with another 10 mil in infrastructure costs. I am sure it costs even more now. This is very much outside third-world budget range. Does all this tech gadgetry help design better studies? Absolutely, but you don't have to have latest and greatest to do interesting work. Unfortunately Tier 1 journals don't see it this way, if you don't have X $toy$ in your lab, you might as well not submit manuscripts. Also if you are the first to get new expensive tech you can publish low hanging fruit (validation plus comparison to old tech) and all but guarantee no-effort papers. So arm race to spend on new gadgetry is always there.

Re:Here's the problem (1)

dainbug (678555) | about a year ago | (#44695747)

Perhaps these are the cost to post to tier 1 journals. But in my experience it came down to finding the people who really were invested and excited in the research. (And professors who were excited about mentoring ) And the institutions that had the leadership that could see the benefits of, and be willing to employ programmers to create the simulations and programs, not costly infrastructure, then amazing studies and wonderful papers were produced for next to nothing.

Re:Here's the problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44695835)

Do you have any evidence to back this claim up whatsoever?

Having published in top journals no reviewer or editor ever asked whether the measurements were done on a homegrown 30k or commercial 300k machine. Everybody was scrutinizing the science intensively. The problem is more that a PhD student can only do so much. If I would have spend years building up a homegrown machine for 30k I would not have the time to do much science. Having the luxury of a mostly commercial machine I could just work on the actual measurements and analysis. So while money helps it is not the only factor. More important were collaborations, experienced people working on a project, being able to talk to experts from other groups.

So your claim is not backed up by my personal experience at all.

Re:Here's the problem (1)

sinij (911942) | about a year ago | (#44696637)

>>>Do you have any evidence to back this claim up whatsoever?

I am not about to start naming&shaming people over this. Careers got destroyed over lesser slights, and seeing how you posted AC you are all too aware of this.

>>>no reviewer or editor ever asked whether the measurements were done on a homegrown 30k or commercial 300k machine

This does not match my experiences whatsoever. If you do anything outside of defacto approved methods you will be asked to validate your methods before publishing, and nobody would be interested in publishing your validation paper on your "homegrown" machine. It is Catch 22 as far as measurements go. Unless you are inventing something new, you are not likely to get accepted anywhere with your homegrown measurement equipment, even if it is vastly cheaper and better than the alternative.

Re:Here's the problem (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#44695963)

Re:Here's the problem (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | about a year ago | (#44696449)

I wonder if this story has anything to do with Brazil being on the outs with the US-UK intelligence cartel?

Re:Here's the problem (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#44696773)

Brazil was always very helpful to the US with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Condor [wikipedia.org]
Brazil did talk with the US about its nuclear, space and aerospace needs and both sides seemed happy.
As for what the US will do about Snowden, the Brazilian connection and UK press?
Use a lot more sockpuppets for tech sites like this? Try and rework UK press laws?
Work to undo any regional data protection laws with more understanding local political groups? http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/21/brazil_data_protection/ [theregister.co.uk]
The region is used to the term America's Backyard.

Re:Here's the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44698041)

The way I see it, the core of this problem lies in the perennial desire for Brazilians to gain recognition on the world stage. These idealistic but naive academics think that they can boost their country's reputation through hard work and determination. However, the fact of the matter is that Brazil is and always will remain a poor and negligible country, inferior to those where the journals they should be publishing in are based.

WTF? Do you read any journals on economics? Do you know what the B in the BRIC countries stands for if the RIC are Russia, India and China? Those four countries are in the category between first world and third world and their economies grow faster than most of the first world countries.In the case of Brazil one of the big problems is that the wealth is very, very unevenly distributed - even more so than in the US.

Tier 1 journals do the same (5, Insightful)

sinij (911942) | about a year ago | (#44695593)

Tier 1 journals do the same. It is open secret that you are more likely to get published if you heavily citing papers from the journal.

Impact factors, publish or perish, and pay walled articles means that a lot of shoddy "science" is going on out of public's eye. In a small field you are not going to rock the boat when your college is pushing out questionable papers. Sure, if you get selected to review the paper you can push back, but then you get to known by editors as "difficult one" and excluded in the future. Back when I worked in science more than half papers were unreproducible, meaning they collected data until significance then wrote paper around it.

More = Better mentality has to go. We do not push boundary of our knowledge by verbiage and fishing expeditions.

Re: Tier 1 journals do the same (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year ago | (#44695885)

Is that all you have to do to get excluded from reviewing? I keep rejecting papers and they keep sending me more and more to review.

Re: Tier 1 journals do the same (1)

rmstar (114746) | about a year ago | (#44696213)

Is that all you have to do to get excluded from reviewing? I keep rejecting papers and they keep sending me more and more to review.

My experience with this kind of thing is that cultures vary hugely between fields. And within these cultures, there is a lot of variability in what people experience due to plain randomness. So that is that. Also, it might be that you write decent reviews and well motivated rejections, while others do not. But who knows? Nobody is telling you, and you are not asking either.

One thing I have observed is that lack of communication and information on editorial decissions trigger unjustified paranoia in a lot of people.

Re:Tier 1 journals do the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44696051)

This!

When looking over the lists of PhD papers from engineering faculties at the large universities around here, I am saddened and mildly annoyed by how derivative they all appear to be (building an entire study around some miniscule permutation of existing knowledge).

It does feel like we (the tax-paying public) are spending the majority of our research dollars / euros on keeping an ever-growing horde of professors and graduate students gainfully employed, rather than actually discovering, extending and confirming 'new' knowledge.. :-(

Re:Tier 1 journals do the same (2)

Alomex (148003) | about a year ago | (#44696347)

an ever-growing horde of professors and graduate students

[Citation needed]

To the best of my knowledge most established fields have had near zero growth since the 1970s, with new sciences (such as CS and genetics) being the exception.

Re:Tier 1 journals do the same (1)

damitr (1795258) | about a year ago | (#44696713)

Yes, rightly said so. And in most of the cases it is considered to be "good" to cite from "respectable" journals. Who wants citations from obscure journals nobody has heard about?

Re:Tier 1 journals do the same (1)

sinij (911942) | about a year ago | (#44697287)

This is not what I meant, and you know it. You are more likely to get accepted into a specific journal if you heavily cite papers from this specific journal outside of the merits of said paper.

Re:Tier 1 journals do the same (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#44697585)

Any metric is going to have flaws. Not to say we can't get a BETTER metric, just know that every way we judge scientists has pitfalls. People will game the system no matter what. And we're obviously not going to bother trying to understand each scientist's body of research. That would be too hard!

Not surprising (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44695599)

Science publishing is totally broken. Brazilians were just emulating the behavior of western Europe, China, and North America. The only difference is that we have practised this stupid game for much longer and we are better at not getting caught.

Re:Not surprising (3, Funny)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about a year ago | (#44695697)

Science publishing is totally broken.

[citation needed]

Re:Not surprising (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44695715)

Science publishing is totally broken.

[citation needed]

I would provide a citation, but I'm a Brazilian journalist and I'm afraid it would be of little or no value.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44695813)

Citation [wikipedia.org]

Re:Not surprising (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about a year ago | (#44696007)

My need for a citation has been satisfied.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44696845)

I believe it's more that the impact factor calculation is flawed.

Citation Rico Suave? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44695605)

Very smooooth guys.

Yes, / . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44695621)

News for geeks, stu... oh whatever.

Captcha: joke

Paper quality (5, Insightful)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | about a year ago | (#44695647)

Well, it takes much more work, but would have worked a lot better if editors focused on paper quality instead. Doing a good review (a review which really helps the authors to improve the quality of their research) is a lot of hard work. I still don't understand why mostly it's unpaid. They could go as far as paying the reviewers proportionally to the number of (real) citations, obtained by the reviewed paper, in two years after the publication. That would really encourage doing good reviews, and helping the authors.

The system is broken, but few people outside university realize how badly it is broken. I did some reviews, but I prefer to not, because there is no reward, and my time is better spent on actual research. Also it happened to me once, that I recommended rejecting a paper and I worked hard to write a good review, and the paper was published nevertheless with only few things corrected. How that journal expects to have a high citation rate is beyond me. Yes I understand that the reviewers work is for free and for the sake of humanity, but the level to which it is exploited by journals is just outrageous. I feel much better developing open source software, which is also done for free and for the sake of humanity, becuase nobody exploits me doing this.

This cartel is not the only one. And more of this will happen in near future until some kind of revolution will take place. Moving toward open access is a good direction and I hope that it will take part in revolutionizing the pulication mechanisms.

Oh well, I hope that more scandalous things like this one will resurface, which will tell people that a reform is needed. And maybe something that encourages quality and not cheating will be discovered....

Re:Paper quality (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44695789)

"Doing a good review (a review which really helps the authors to improve the quality of their research) is a lot of hard work. I still don't understand why mostly it's unpaid."

Even though doing a good review is indeed a lot of hard work (my goal is to improve the paper even if I disagree with it), the idea of getting paid for it would lead to even worse abuses. I would refuse such money if it were offered. If you can't see ways in which such a financial incentive could be abused, then you aren't being imaginative enough (e.g., citing the paper yourself to boost the amount you'll get paid, or if that's not allowed because it is too obvious, asking other people to do so). The paper should be published based on merit. Merit should be evaluated independent of any financial concerns.

Re:Paper quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44695953)

>I would refuse such money if it were offered.

So... you're saying you only want idealists who make poor decisions to review papers?

Re:Paper quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44698155)

Yes, he's saying he only wants smart people who actually have something to contribute to do it, and prevent making the review process a petty fight for galleons.

Re:Paper quality (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | about a year ago | (#44696035)

That's true. Excluding citations done by rewiever and by the authors from the citation count is a basic thing. Howver I do not argue that this idea is a good one. This is why I concluded with "And maybe something that encourages quality and not cheating will be discovered...". I really hope that some system which makes it work will be devised.

In PeerJ for example you can publish as long as you are doing reviews for PeerJ also. That seems to not conflict with your point of view, and sounds quite reasonable for me too. I feel that this is not the ultimate solution, but a step in a good direction too.

Re:Paper quality (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44697401)

More importantly, if the payment is based on the number of citations, you're encouraged to accept it even if it is crap, because a paper that gets not published will certainly get zero citations. A crap paper that is published will likely get a few citations from other papers by the same author or somebody in the same group. And even if not, you're not worse off than if the paper wasn't published at all.

Also, if you get a paper for review that cites another paper you reviewed, you'd be more inclined to accept it even if it is crap because it increases the citations for that other paper, thus acceptance means more money for you for that other paper.

If you get paid for review, the amount should not depend on whether you accept or reject it. The incentive to make quality reviews would come from your desire to make more money by getting more articles to review.

Re:Paper quality (1)

cyn1c77 (928549) | about a year ago | (#44700197)

"Doing a good review (a review which really helps the authors to improve the quality of their research) is a lot of hard work. I still don't understand why mostly it's unpaid."

Even though doing a good review is indeed a lot of hard work (my goal is to improve the paper even if I disagree with it), the idea of getting paid for it would lead to even worse abuses. I would refuse such money if it were offered. If you can't see ways in which such a financial incentive could be abused, then you aren't being imaginative enough (e.g., citing the paper yourself to boost the amount you'll get paid, or if that's not allowed because it is too obvious, asking other people to do so). The paper should be published based on merit. Merit should be evaluated independent of any financial concerns.

Interesting line of logic.

Should we also stop paying scientists to do research? Because they also have personal financial incentive to abuse their analysis.

When I review a paper, it can take a day or more to do a properly documented, thorough review. Why should I not be compensated for that if I do it on my own time? Do you think I enjoy trying: (1) to figure out what the researchers did, (2) to get them to reference the 20 prior related studies that they ignored, (3) correcting their language syntax, and (4) actually evaluating their science. I don't. In fact, I hate it. The only reason I do it is because other people do it for my papers. But the journals make a TON of money off of the publishing process, while getting free reviews!

Also, on a related subject: Is it fair for my employer to have to pay for me for the time it takes me to to review someone else's paper? Would you, as a taxpayer, be OK with government scientists taking your tax dollars to review papers all day instead of doing their jobs? If so, where is the limit? I probably get 25 requests to review a year.

Speaking of Journalism... (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about a year ago | (#44695687)

Is everything in south america called a cartel now?

Re:Speaking of Journalism... (1)

schneidafunk (795759) | about a year ago | (#44695799)

Actually the word fits quite nicely here, because they were competing journals working together. By definition: "A cartel is a formal (explicit) "agreement" among competing firms. It is a formal organization of producers and manufacturers that agree to fix prices, marketing, and production.[1] Cartels usually occur in an oligopolistic industry"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartel [wikipedia.org]

Re:Speaking of Journalism... (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about a year ago | (#44696085)

Or they could have a smidgen of sensitivity and break out a thesaurus.

Besides, these are individuals, not firms or companies, or groups acting together, nor are they price fixing or anything like that. They are simply improperly citing each other to boost their profile and readership. I have no doubt "Cartel" was used not for its definition but for is "sexiness" in a headline, which is what prompted my remark.

Re:Speaking of Journalism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44696235)

So, someone using a correct word/definition prompts you to chime in? AFAIK, I used correct wording there, so you are probably *required* to now.

Re:Speaking of Journalism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44696189)

You're quite correct. In Canada, the "Big Three" wireless carriers, to wit Bell Mobility, Rogers Wireless, and Telus, act as a cartel for decades yet the Government basically turns a blind-eye to the situation. Occasionally, the Government tosses the taxpayers a bone which the wireless carriers find a way to thwart without much effort. The petroleum industry is another blatant cartel operating with the blessing of governments around the globe.

Re:Speaking of Journalism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44695827)

cartel [kahr-tel]
noun
1. an international syndicate, combine, or trust formed especially to regulate prices and output in some field of business.
2. a coalition of political or special-interest groups having a common cause, as to encourage the passage of a certain law.
3. a written agreement between belligerents, especially for the exchange of prisoners.
4. a written challenge to a duel.

Clearly this story is about a written challenge to a duel, not just more evidence that journalists have a worse grasp of language than the South Koreans who make the cheap English->Korean->English subtitles on the less-than-approved DVD releases.

Re:Speaking of Journalism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44696309)

The word 'cartel' is not used anywhere in the original story.

Re:Speaking of Journalism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44695919)

Everything except the top tier journal publishing cartel it would seem.

This is like... (2)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#44695733)

Link farms in meatspace.

Statistics and editorializing (4, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year ago | (#44695845)

Please read TFA. TFS makes it look like a problem in Brazil when in fact it is a lot wider than that. From TFA

Four Brazilian journals were among 14 to have their impact factors suspended for a year for such stacking

Each year, Thomson Reuters detects and cracks down on excessive self-citation. This year alone, it red-flagged 23 more journals for the wearily familiar practice

The journals flagged by the new algorithm extend beyond Brazil — but only in that case has an explanation for the results emerged.

What happened in the cases of the other ten journals censured for citation stacking is unclear. One involves a close pattern of citations between three Italian journals (International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology, Journal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents and European Journal of Inflammation) all with the same editor-in-chief, Pio Conti, an immunologist at the University of Chieti-Pescara.

In another case, review articles with hundreds of references to Science China Life Sciences were meant not to lift its impact factor, but to clarify confusions after a rebranding and to “promote the newly reformed journal to potential new readers”

In a further case, the Journal of Instrumentation saw hundreds of cross-citations from papers authored in SPIE Proceedings by Ryszard Romaniuk, an electronic engineer who was part of the collaboration that put together the CMS experiment in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN

And finally

The journals currently suspended for either self-citation or citation stacking represent only 0.6% of the 10,853 in Thomson Reuters’ respected directory.

Re:Statistics and editorializing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44696163)

What I don't understand is...

1. If you subscribe and publish in a local journal or a small collection of local journals then many of my sources will be from those journals.
2. If you don't make a citation when using a source for reference then you are a plagiarist.
3. These are not nonprofit organizations I expect them to attempt to prop up the local economy.

So why should I not expect this?

Re:Statistics and editorializing (1)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about a year ago | (#44696547)

Yes it does sound like they are promoting plagiarism or trying to up-sell you on more journal subscriptions.

Impact Factor = Popularity Contest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44696329)

If you look at the structure of the Impact Factor system, it creates a system of perverse incentives where 'elite' journals only accept articles from 'elite' authors. The quality of science, scientist, and journal take a back seat in publication decisions. Add in the Billions in grant money at stake, and you quickly have a system that encourages insular thinking, publication of only people who already have a high impact factor, and offering your work only to journals that are popular.

Imagine if Marie Curie or Einstein had to fight the Impact Factor system. We would still be stumped about radiation and trying to fit the universe into Newtonian Mechanics.

Re:Impact Factor = Popularity Contest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44697521)

As someone who has several papers in the peer-review system, some at top tier journals, I whole-heartedly agree with this sentiment.

There are days when I just want to say "Fuck it" and publish everything to PLoS One. But then the work won't be respected. Fucking catch 22.

Re:Impact Factor = Popularity Contest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44697525)

Any respectable researcher should know about arXiv by now. So the knowledge will still be available. The true problem is that the evaluation of publication lists when looking for an university job depends on how "reputable" the journals you published in are. A crappy article in a high-profile journal will earn you points, while an excellent article in a no-name journal will be worth almost nothing.

The only positive aspect of the Impact Factor system is that it boosts Open Access journals: Since they are more widely available, they are more often cited, and therefore they get an inflated impact factor.

JCR ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44696405)

Whenever I read something about the "Impact factor" I now only reference this article [arxiv.org]

These data corroborate previous hypotheses: using journal rank as an assessment tool is bad scientific practice.
Moreover, the data lead us to argue that any journal rank (not only the currently-favored Impact Factor) would have this
negative impact.

The "Impact factor" can be manipulated, is non-reproducible, and therefore, any scientist should feel insulted by its use to rate his or any other scientific work.

Re:JCR ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44698119)

Thanks for the link, I was unaware of this particular research. The weasel in charge of our lab started using Impact Factor as a rating method a few years ago, to the dismay of all those in his domain.

any scientist should feel insulted by its use to rate his or any other scientific work.

Yes, we feel quite insulted by this. Some people actually left, due to the cumulative effects of this and other managerial decisions of similar merit.

Re:JCR ... (1)

OneAhead (1495535) | about a year ago | (#44699151)

Thank you, thank, you, thank you. This is what I always have been proclaiming for the last year or so; now I have a reference to back my claims.

I would go even further though, by claiming that not only the focus on impact factors is misplaced, but the focus on number of publications as well. It is almost common practice in some fields of science to write a new paper for every insignificant incremental progress made. These papers are exceedingly boring to read because 80% of their content is filler an/or has been published before and only 20% is slightly novel. Accordingly, the number of citations they gather is low. So there are all these scientists wasting bucketloads of time pumping out papers with little merit (yes, publishing is very time-consuming), while if they would accumulate scientific progress for a somewhat longer period of time, they would be publishing more interesting papers and at the same time be able to spend more time on, you know, doing actual science. The problem is made dramatically worse by open-access journals publishing papers only based on technical soundness, not on (the reviewer's perception of) "interest to the scientific community". Don't get me wrong; I think this is a good policy and the way forward. My point is that it happens to be exacerbating a problem the underlying cause of which direly needs to be removed. Indeed, the problem could easily be fixed in the same effort as getting rid of impact factors by switching to a different personal performance metric, such as times cited over the last 12 months (or else the H-index or something like that). There's very little risk that this will overly incentivize people to slow down progress by sitting on results (as opponents often argue), because if you sit on really interesting science for too long, you'll inevitably get scooped and can kiss your citations bye-bye... What it does is disincentivize wasting time on publishing uninspired stuff nobody really cares about.

Smashed? (1)

thisisnotreal (888437) | about a year ago | (#44696437)

There was nothing physically smashed. I got all excited that someone stormed into a server room and physically destroyed things in a tittilating and completely unnecessary way. What the heck, man!?

Self-Citation Cartel? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44697067)

That sounds like something from Monty Python. Like the Archeology Today sketch, or even better, the Secret Service Dentists sketch.

What's wrong with that? (2)

Sentrion (964745) | about a year ago | (#44697865)

That's how Capitalism works. It's also the core bread-and-butter advice you get from SEO consultants.

How is it that much different than the mutual self-promotion of board members and executives in most American corporations? If you look to see who is on the board of directors of top companies, you will find executives from other top companies. Then they sit around on each other's boards and vote each other exhorbitant compensation at the expenses of consumers (no price cuts but lower quality), employees (declining wages and offshoring jobs), and even investors (how has your 401k performed over the past 10 years? CEO pay since 2009 has increased 38%). Not convinced? How about some anecdotes:

Miles D. White is the CEO of Abbot Laboratories. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of McDonald's, Caterpillar Inc., Northwestern Memorial Hospital and MediSense.
Marc Benioff is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, salesforce.com, inc. He sits on the Board of Directors of Cisco.
Greg Brown is Chairman and CEO, Motorola Solutions, Inc. He also sits on the Board of Directors of Cisco.
Marissa A. Mayer is the President and CEO of Yahoo!, Inc.. She also sits on the Board of Directors of Walmart.
Ursula M. Burns is the Chairman of the Board and CEO of Xerox. She is also on the boards for American Express and Exxon Mobile.

The list goes on. In fact, you can see these details right on most company websites. It is quite uncommon to find board members who are not sitting on other boards of public companies while also serving as CEO of some other big corporation. They also serve as presidents and trustees of universities, industry groups, charities, hospitals, schools, and other non-profits, as well as even some government agencies, think tanks or advisory groups. So, pretty much all of your for-profit and non-profit leadership positions are occupied by a select group of well connected self-appointed aristocrats.

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44700631)

http://xkcd.com/978/

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