Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Is Scopus polluting its own database by indexing junk articles? A case study of five journals

Haley, Jackie Earle and Miller, Jonny Lee (2018): Is Scopus polluting its own database by indexing junk articles? A case study of five journals.

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Abstract

The aim of this short research note is to demonstrate that Scopus is polluting its own databases, unintentionally or otherwise, by indexing junk articles. I have used five journals indexed by Scopus in this research note as examples in a case study format. I have found that the publication rate of junk articles for these five journals increased after they began to be indexed in Scopus. These journals are publishing conference papers and graduate students’ initial research reports in which there are many errors. This makes the indexing of The Journal of Social Sciences Research (Online ISSN: 2411-9458/Print ISSN: 2413-6670) questionable as it was considered for evaluation before its current two year publication history, (source: https://suggestor.step.scopus.com/progressTracker/?trackingID=49844DA5933F47A8). The quality of its published articles is very poor, and it has advertised and promoted false figures for its impact factors. These journals publish articles that are out of their scope and publish every article on condition of payment of a fee by the author that averages out to about 400 USD per article. Given that these journals have been advertising and promoting fake impact factors prior to their being indexed in Scopus and given that Scopus has included them in its central index, they are deceiving young researchers and the broader academic community with false information. Beall (2016) has previously pointed out the issue of the falsified impact factor information in his list of predatory journals. Many universities subscribe to Scopus to, among other reasons, measure the impact of their faculty members' research.. There is therefore a need to address the ethics of this situation, and this study recommends that Scopus carefully index new journals but observe the publication rates of junk articles, and if an indexed journal makes such an error, to take a decision within three months and impose a lifetime ban on indexing the journal.

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