B – Post-dating journal articles and citation counting

Krell FT. Academic publishers’ time-loop: another mechanism to manipulate impact factors? Learned Publishing 2012;25(2):153-154
(doi: 10.1087/20120210)

According to the author, all major scientific publishers state false publication dates. Why not give the correct publication dates? For a journal issue published, for example, in December 2011, but dated January 2012, the citation counting for the Impact Factor (IF) will consider citations from January 2012 to December 2014. This buys journal issues another year of exposure and moves the citation counts for the journal IF closer to the peak of citedness for most journals.