Reducing the effect of self-citations: modified CiteScore metric for evaluating researchers and their institutions

Hilary I Okagbue, Sheila A. Bishop, Pelumi E. Oguntunde, Patience I. Adamu, Abiodun A. Opanuga, Elvir M. Akhmetshin


Elsevier B.V. launched a scholarly metric called CiteScore (CS) on December 8, 2016.Up till then, the journal impact factor (JIF) owned by ClarivateAnalytics (Thomson Reuters) wasthe only trusted metric for journal evaluation. As noted by Teixeira da Silva & Memon (2017), CSoffers some observed advantages over JIF. The potentials of CiteScore as a viable metric are stillemerging. The paper brieflyintroduces a variant of the CiteScore that can be used in quantifyingthe impact of researchers and their institutions. The ultimate aim is to reduce the numerical effectof self-citations (SC) in academic publishing. The reduction is designed to discourage SC but nottotally diminishing it. The reasons for the adopted methodology are discussed extensively. Theproposed modified CiteScore metric is simple, transparent and constructed to ensure integrity inacademic publication. The result showed that the proposed modified CiteScore is a better optionthan the traditional CiteScore and hence, can be applied in impact determination, ranking ofauthors and their institutions, and evaluation of scientist for grant award. The approach used inthis paper is entirely new in two ways; first, a metric similar to journal ranking is proposed forranking authors and their institutions and secondly, disproportionate scores are awarded todifferent sources of citations to reduce perceived dishonesty in academic publications. Inconclusion, this research is one of very few to report the effect of SC on CiteScore. Hitherto, theeffect of SC has always been on the journal impact factor (IF).


CiteScore; clarivateanalytics; coercive citation; Elsevier; impact factor; ranking; Scopus; self-citation; self-referential


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