An automatic recognition method of journal impact factor manipulation

Eugene Garfield garfield at CODEX.CIS.UPENN.EDU
Sat Aug 27 13:55:45 EDT 2011

An automatic recognition method of journal impact factor manipulation

Author(s): Yu, G (Yu, Guang); Yang, DH (Yang, Dong-Hui); He, HX (He, Hui-
Source: JOURNAL OF INFORMATION SCIENCE  Volume: 37  Issue: 3  Pages: 
235-245  DOI: 10.1177/0165551511400954  Published: JUN 2011  

Abstract: Journal impact factor (IF) manipulation has unhealthy effects on the 
academic community and is attracting more attention from scholars. In this 
paper, an intelligent method is proposed to identify manipulative self-citation 
behaviour in journals using pattern recognition. Data on IFs, age distributions of 
total citations, and numbers of self-citations were collected for 18 journals 
from 1998 to 2007 in Journal Citation Reports (JCR); these journals include 
known manipulated journals. The feature variables of the citation distribution 
functions of the known manipulated journals were extracted using the k-
nearest neighbour classifier, and a feature attribute space was established for 
pattern recognition. The MATLAB software was used to process, train, and test 
the data and to develop a suitable matrix model which can provide an original 
model for identifying other manipulated journals. To verify the validity and 
reliability of this method, the authors randomly collected citation distribution 
data from several journals in JCR, analysed the results of the verification, and 
proved the effectiveness of pattern recognition in this context.

Language: English
Document Type: Article
Author Keywords: impact factor; manipulation; abnormal self-citation; pattern 
recognition; k-nearest neighbour

Addresses: [Yu, G; Yang, DH] Harbin Inst Technol, Sch Management, Harbin 
150001, Peoples R China
[He, HX] Harbin Inst Technol, Sch Energy, Harbin 150001, Peoples R China
Reprint Address: Yu, G (reprint author), Harbin Inst Technol, Sch Management, 
17 Silin St, Harbin 150001, Peoples R China

E-mail Address: yug at
ISSN: 0165-5515

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