Errors in bibliographic citations are very frequent in medical articles. Although such errors may seem not important, they lower citation index of articles, affecting recognition and professional advancement of an academician.
Researchers from New York University Langone Medical Center conducted analysis to highlight inaccurate and inconsistent bibliometric reports across databases. Authors searched listings of 1469 clinical and research faculty members according to their full names in the PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar databases. Google Scholar showed the highest number of publications per author, followed by Web of Science, Scopus, and PubMed. To fight such discrepancies, they offer use of Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID), which can be integrated into all databases for consistency. Researchers conclude that most accurate resource to calculate an academician’s bibliometric profile has not emerged yet. These researchers clearly perceive scientists as victims of citation race.
The opposite opinion expressed Mario Biagioli, a professor of law and of science and technology studies at the University of California, Davis states that article metrics became the main reason to write an article for scientists and publishers. He claims that a new kind of metrics-enabled fraud, which he calls “post-production misconduct” has emerged. The scientific part of new publications is not polluted by false results, but metrics are regularly abused. News about research now includes regular reports of authors who supply fake e-mail addresses of suggested peer reviewers. They then use those addresses to offer reports that are supportive enough to ensure that the paper is published. ‘Review and citation’ rings go a step further, trading favorable fake reviews for citations to the reviewer’s work.
Overall, tense citations issue does not compromise pharma industry functioning directly but we should keep in mind that scientists that serve as Key Opinion Leaders do need these high citation indexes, and this should be accounted for as a certain risk factor. Regulatory bodies should be kept calm and do not worry about potential fraud in registration dossiers with regards to fake or incorrect citations. That’s why pharma industry should pay attention to various citation errors and potential fraud and possibly even develop a collaboration network to identify such impurities on a global scale.