Our comments to Thomson Reuters decision and to JCR and SCI indexing已有1人参与
Przeglad Elektrotechniczny is one of the oldest and largest European journal devoted to electrical engineering – we exist since 1919 and last year we published more than 2000 scientific papers a year. Our journal was established as official representation of Association of Polish Electricians. But later we obtained more and more foreign papers mainly from other countries of our part of the Europa - Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia, Montenegro, Serbia and Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania or Hungary. We expanded to representation of the large part of Europa – Central and Ost Europa. Probably this importance for European scientific community was the main reason that we have been accepted to JCR database.
After acceptation to JCR in 2008 the pressure of the authors increased spectacularly. We published about 50% papers of Polish authors andt number of foreign papers increased every years. After acceptation to JCR started avalanche of papers also from Asian countries - Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia, Thailand and especially China. We received 10-20 China papers every day (!). The reason was obvious. These countries have not sufficient representation on JCR (related to number of author and scientific potential of the country). And although we received papers with author’s notes as “we are proud to send paper to so prestigious and excellent journal” the truth was more banal – for authors from these countries Przegląd Elektrotechniczny was an only gate to publish in journal that is indexed by SCI. Thomson Reuters dropped Przegląd Elektrotechniczny from JCR with the end of 2012. This decision arrived suddenly without any earlier warnings. It was surprise for us because our parameters slowly increased and were better than at the date of acceptation to JCR. In contrary to many other journals we never press the authors to improve the citations. Applying to our journal such very strong requirements results that our part of world again will not have any representation on JCR list – the blank page on world map will enlarge.
Moreover decision of Thomson Reuters was introduced in deeply illegible way. Although we were rejected from the list at the end of December 2012 the first official announcement was published at the end of March 2013 (!!!). Thus many authors publishing papers in January, February, and March believed that they are indexed by SCI and basing on this conviction they obtained grants or other supports. Now they are requested to return these supports, often from private account. We have sent special request to T&R to include exceptionally these papers into indexing because T&R was responsible for such situation. But we have met refusal. In our opinion authors of these papers have right to demand compensation from T&R.
As official reason of dropping us was too high self-citation index, close to 77%. Neglecting fact that similar value of this index we had at the date of acceptation we would like tounderline that practically it is not possible to have similar self -citation parameters as American journals (without special manipulations) because:
- We estimate that for about 90% of our authors Przeglad Elektrotechniczny was only one possibility to publish in journals from JCR. Thus these authors and their colleagues were not able to cited papers from PE in other JCR journals.
- After years of isolation for most of these authors it is often the first possibility to publish papers in international journal. They are not so fluent in English language, they have very limited number of foreign colleagues, and they have limited contact with other countries due to financial limitations. To tell truth distance between our countries and USA is still very large and difficult to overcome.
- About 40% of papers was in Polish language (we cannot prohibit such papers because we are official journal of Polish Association of Engineers). Most of English language journals do not accept citations other than English.
- The name of our journal was also not “user friendly”. It was difficult to change it because it is very old and traditional name – our ancestors did not forecast such increasing of international scientific exchange. We add to this name English translation Przeglad Elektrotechniczny (Electrical Review) but with reverse than expected result – most of authors started to use only English part – not indexed by JCR.
- It would be so easy to improve self -citation by rejection of authors from developing countries, young authors, practicing engineers etc. but we publish these papers because we assume that it is our mission and publishing a papers is not a business.
Rejection of Przeglad Elektrotechniczny is of course painful for us but it brings more
significant consequences for authors from our part of world – they lost possibility to attempt in international scientific exchange. This decision clearly prove that
Thomson&Reuters does not represent scientific exchange of the whole world but
represents mainly American and arbitrary selected other journals. And more - it helpsto increase of this domination. The scientific world was divided into two separate parts – our wonderful world where all journals are “master” and papers valuable and external world where interesting papers cannot be created and therefore they are not deserve to indexing.
About JCR indexing
Idea of evaluation of scientific journals by indexing citations seems to be clever and reasonable. Indeed papers that are not used by other authors are not necessary. Moreover it is much easier to index citations by computer than evaluate real scientific importance by reviewers.
In 2003 when we started evaluation we received from ISI following advice: “We do not a judgment on the scientific quality but we mainly evaluate importance of the journal for scientific community – simply how often the journal is cited, which journals cite and are cited by it”. But in reality almost all scientist and scientific administration believe that JCR indexing means scientific quality of the journal.
Simplified method of evaluation caused degeneration of the whole system. So sensitive in our case editors of T&R do not detect that in the case of almost all journals their factors increased last time often in geometric progression. As reactio n on citation importance was developed “citation industry” known as “citation cartel”. Authors often receive from editors list of references to include it to the paper. To avoid self-citation such demands are often related to other journal cooperating in “citation agreement” or “cross-citation business”.
Two examples from main experience. I published the review paper about inductive sensors awarder by the European reputable journal as most frequently downloaded paper a year.
nd indeed I received hundreds mails with comments or questions. But this popularity of the paper did not reflected by citations. In the time when citation is a strategic good better is to include in references colleague than real source of information. Similarly I published the review paper about electrical steels. Also this time I received hundreds of comments but without citations - simply reference to such exotic journal as Przeglad Elektrotechniczny was not trendy.
It is clear that recently the citation index does not reflect any international exchange but it is only commercial product as tie or shirt. Earlier scientific journals helped in scientific exchange and science documentation. Now scientific journal are transformed to only the commercial source of the points necessary in academic career.Sample TextCorruption of the system is increased due to bureaucracy and commercialization of science.
Administration of the science obtained easy to use new toy. Instead of complex evaluation by reviewers much easier is to press button with h-factor or SCI index. In some countries JCR or SCI indexing is exclusive method of evaluation of journals or scientists – this tool decides about scientific career or financials support of science. It is really bizarre why commercial American institution working without any supervision received monopole in some allegedly independent countries as for example China. Why European Community was not able to develop his own independent method of evaluation of science?
Paricuilar example represent the authors from China who are really crazy about SCI factor.
In this country probably it is not possible to obtain any support or professional degree without SCI index. Due to large population and poor representation in the JCR base after opening our presence on the JCR started avalanche of desperate China authors. We received hundreds submissions of every month, often with strange proposals “I propose you 100 dollars for every page” or “please send me private address – I would like to send you a gift”.
Some years ago was published information about China student who sold a kidney to buy iPad. Now for me it would be not bizarre information that China PhD student sold kidney to obtain SCI index.
After decision about our dropping from JCR started exodus of China authors. Probably in China paper outside the SCI are not valid. Almost all China authors demanded withdrawing of the papers, also papers ready to print (after accepted review) as well papers published in the first quarter of 2013. They clearly declared now that submission was performed only to obtain SCI index.
For these authors editors are as shop with shirts where it is easy to buy good and easy to return. It is not fair taking into account work of editor. Sometimes authors received review longer than paper with many advices. We engaged to this work many reputable professors from the whole world. Also for these authors it is not important contribution of editor in preparing of the manuscript to print. Often it was necessary to rewrite a paper and prepare it again.
Fortunately most of authors declare willingness to continue the cooperation with our journal.
They appreciate professional service, short time between submission and publishing but also our presence in other more independent international bases as Google Scholar or Scopus. We obtain many wished with belief that Przeglad Elektrotechniczny earlier or later should return to the JCR base. But after these five years of experience I do not feel if it would be our dream. I believe that earlier or later this depraved system where only index is important should be substituted by new more reliable and honest system not dividing the world into better and worse part but helping ininternational scientific exchange. And evaluation of the journals will be again restored to scientist.
[ Last edited by alog520 on 2013-4-23 at 23:19 ]