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Analysis of self-citation and impact factor in dermatology journals

Ofer Reiter 1Michael Mimouni 1Daniel Mimouni 1 Affiliations expand
  • PMID: 26695728


Background: Concerns have been raised regarding the impact factor’s (IF) accuracy and credibility, which may be affected by different factors, including self-citations. Objective: To investigate the self-citation rate (SCR) of dermatology journals and its relationship to the IF. Methods: Data on all dermatology journals listed in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) were retrieved, and the following parameters were analyzed: IF, total publications used to calculate the IF, total citations used to calculate the IF, self-citations used to calculate the IF, SCR, and IF without self-citations (corrected IF). Results: The median SCR was 10.53% (0-50%), and the median IF and corrected IF, 1.54 (0.05-6.37) and 1.35 (0.03-5.84), respectively. There was an inverse correlation between the IF and the SCR. A statistically significant difference was noted in the SCR between general and subspecialty journals and between journals that offered a full English text and those that did not. Conclusions: In general, the IF of dermatology journals is not influenced by the SCR. However, journals with a lower IF tend to have a higher SCR. Subspecialty journals and foreign language journals have a higher SCR than general dermatology and English language journals, respectively, probably owing to their limited distribution and the difficulty experienced by international authors in accessing references in specific languages.
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