B – Coercive citation in academic publishing

Wilhite AW, Fong EA. Coercive citation in academic publishing. Science 2012;335(6068):542-543
(doi: 10.1126/science.1212540)

One side effect of impact factors is the incentive they create for many journal editors to coerce authors to add citations to their journal. To explore the extent and nature of such coercive self-citation, the authors analyzed responses from a survey and journal-based data in some disciplines (economics, sociology, psychology, and multiple business disciplines). Results showed that coercion is uncomfortably common – especially in the business disciplines – and appears to be practiced opportunistically. Academic associations could help by officially condemning the practice.