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Ranking journals through the lens of active visibility
Published in Springer Science and Business Media B.V.
Volume: 126
Issue: 3
Pages: 2189 - 2208
Use of citation as a proxy unit in deriving research impact indicators largely hinges on universal referencing norms promulgated by Robert K. Merton. However, signals arising out of research fields indicate that referencing practices have often been affected by prejudices and expectations. Journals’ citation oeuvre may also be inflated by intelligent mix of citation optimizing tools, which render it difficult to detect. This study reveals that reach of a research publication (measured by its distinct users) is not always proportional to its citation counts. The application of raw citations as units to derive impact of research publication entities like journals thus poses a great threat to research community itself. This study introduces a new ranking method for journals where distinct authors (contributing as well as citing) are taken as units rather than raw citations. By considering authors as building units in the new indicator, the method can nullify/lessen the effect of common citation optimizing factors like journal self-citations, author self-citations and recitations on it. To legitimate the proposed method, an experimental study is conducted on 30 semi-systematically selected ‘Library and Information Science’ journals. It reflects that the new indicator favors authority of those journals that have relatively low self-citations and recitations. © 2021, Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary.
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