In a few weeks, Clarivate Analytics will release their 2016 Journal Citation Report (JCR), which will disclose the Impact Factors of over ten-thousand academic journals.
With each release, the JCR also suspends titles for citation practices that distort their Impact Factor score and rank. Last year, 18 titles were suspended from the JCR, 16 for high levels of self-citation, the other two for “citation stacking,” a behavior that is more informally referred to as a citation cartel. In prior years, the JCR suspended many more titles. In 2012, a total of 65 titles were suspended. In 2011, it was 50 titles.
The Impact Factor is a lagging performance indicator — a measure of last year’s citation count to papers published in the preceding two years. If you’ve identified that citation distortion has already taken place in your journals, as a publisher, there is little you can do but wait for your day of reckoning and hope that your journal escapes suspension.