Citation metrics for appraising scientists: misuse, gaming and proper use

Jaime A Teixeira da Silva
Med J Aust 2020; 213 (5): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50738
Published online: 7 September 2020

To the Editor: In their recent article, Ioannidis and Boyack focused on the misuse of author‐ and journal‐based metrics.1 The “predatory and other easy journals” they allude to are becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish2 in a widening continuum of journal quality that is seeing some overlap between predatory journals and indexed (eg, in Web of Science, Scopus or PubMed) journals that are traditionally perceived to be of peer‐review quality and whose scholarly content has been editorially authenticated.3 This increasing overlap between predatory and indexed journals is accentuated by an increasing lack of reproducibility, often revealed through post‐publication peer review of indexed journals.4 Predatory journals may also seek scholarly validation by allowing citation of their papers to infiltrate supposedly reputable databases.5 However, the continued inability to identify such journals invalidates calls to ban such entities or to not cite papers from currently blacklisted predatory journals, as was recently suggested by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.6

  • Jaime A Teixeira da Silva

  • Miki‐cho, Japan


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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