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Factors affecting the citations of papers in tribology journals

Liskiewicz, T and Liskiewicz, G and Paczesny, J (2021) Factors affecting the citations of papers in tribology journals. Scientometrics, 126. pp. 3321-3336. ISSN 0138-9130


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The citations count is flawed but it still the most common way of measuring the academic impact used by scholarly journals (Impact Factor), individual researchers (h-index) and funding agencies (a proxy for quality of research). Individual papers should attract citations depending upon the importance and usefulness of the results presented. However, large enough data sets reveal that there are parameters independent of individual papers' quality that can determine an average citation rate. Here, we examine papers (4756 in total) published in six selected tribology journals in a six-year window between January 2010 and December 2015. Citations were retrieved from the Web of Science and compared with their (1) manuscript length, (2) number of authors, (3) number of affiliated institutions, (4) number of international co-authors, (5) number of cited references, (6) number of words in the title, and (7) mode of publication (open versus paid access). The results revealed that citations received by papers published in tribology journals are affected by all of these parameters. This is a significant finding for authors wishing to increase the impact of their research. This knowledge can be used effectively at the manuscript planning and writing stages to support scientific merit. We suggest that the significance of parameters not directly related to the quality of a scholarly paper will become more critical with the rise of alternative ways of measuring impact including novel generation of paper metrics (e.g., Eigenfactor, SJR), social mentions, and viral outreach.

Impact and Reach


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