Four years ago, I wrote about the importance put on reference lists of published works. I explained that citations are the currency of scholarly communication and yet, editorial attention to the reference lists is not necessarily as comprehensive as these lists deserve. Since writing this post, several new tools have become available to further scrutinize the heavily produced and yet editorially ignored citations.
References and reference lists play such a key role in science, it’s a big deal if they include questionable publications. They can contaminate science and suggest a junk theory is credible. This great Scholarly Kitchen piece suggests a great approach to evaluating a citation list.
As I documented in this 2017 post, a single journal article inflated with self-citations can turn any paper into an h-index factory. Further, many problematic journals purposefully use titles that are close to real journal titles and nearly indistinguishable once we abbreviate the heck out of them.