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Citation Pushing & Stacking

VU International News and Reviews No. 97 September 11 2017

September 2017

The VSNU, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands, is looking at a report (in Dutch) from one of its members on the practice of “Citation pushing and stacking”.  This occurs when reviewers for scholarly journals suggest that authors add more – and specific – citations before the article gets published. As the reviewers are anonymous, this may and does lead to surprising increases of citations of articles by those reviewers.

As there currently are no rules and protocols against such citation pushing & stacking, there is no legal ground to act against this morally debatable practice.

One more example that any mechanistic approach to the assessment and appraisal of scholarly work too often and too easily leads to perverse reactions.

See also an interesting article by Thomas Howard.

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