The purpose of this paper is to explore the influence of selected factors in journal citations. Various factors can affect citations distribution of journals. Among them, skewness of citations distribution, author self-citation, journal self-citation and recitations (RCs) have been studied.
The present study based on 16 systematically selected journals indexed in Scopus under the subject category “Library and Information Science.” The study was confined to original research and review articles that were published in the selected journals in the year 2011. The temporal citation window from 2011 to 2014 was taken for analysis. Tools like, Scopus author ID, ORCID and author profiles from Google Scholar were used to minimize the error due to homonyms, spelling variances and misspelling in authors’ names.
It is found that citations distribution in majority of the journals under the study is highly skewed and more likely to follow log-normal distribution. The nature of authorship in papers was found to have positive effect on citation counts. Self-citing data show that higher ranked journals have rather less direct impact on total citation counts than their lower counterpart. RCs are also found to be more in top-tier journals. Though the influence of self-citations and RCs were relatively less at individual level on total citations of journals but combined, they can play a dominant role and can affect total citation counts of journals at significant level.
The present study is based on Scopus database only. Therefore, citation data can be affected by the inherent limitation of Scopus. Readers are encouraged to further the study by taking into account large sample and tracing citations from an array of citation indexes, such as Web of Science, Google citations, Indian Citation Index, etc.
This paper reinforces that the citations received by journals can be affected by the factors selected in this study. Therefore, the study provides better understanding of the role of these selected factors in journal citations.
The author is grateful to three anonymous referees for their useful suggestions on two earlier versions of this paper and to Dr Sourav Dey (Assistant Professor of Statistics, Presidency University) for his insightful teaching that enabled the author to employ suitable statistical methods in analyzing the data. The author is also grateful to Dr Sabuj K. Chowdhury at University of Calcutta for helping me straighten my arguments.
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