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一篇堆砌参考文献的文章经编委初审建议直接退稿

已有 3375 次阅读 2015-1-26 10:54 |个人分类:科技写作|系统分类:论文交流| impact, factor, Journal, Reference, citaion

 

A paper was recommended for rejection in the initial review due to numerous unrelated reference citation

 

Three weeks ago, I read a new submission from one Canadian university. The paper was written by a Ph D candidate and his supervior, Prof. G.

In the cover letter to the Journal of Mountain Science, Prof. G. wrote, "I recently discover your Journal last year as a reviewer and I am particularly glad of this opportunity. One of my graduate student (PhD in progress) and I are now submitting to your journal an interesting manuscript about spatio-temporal evolution and complexity of the alpine environments in the northeastern North America."

 

I am very glad to see that a reviewer would like to submit his own paper to the Journal of Mountain Science, so I spent more time reading this manuscript before assigning it to a Scientific Editor (SE) for initial review. I found the title of this paper is very attractive but it listed too many references, after carefull scrutinizing, I found numerous cited papers are piled together without further explanation, then I checked the reference list, and found papers from several Canadian journals were cited in many times, of which, one journal was cited more than 20 times.  It's quite abnormal!

Then I wrote down a note in the manuscript system: " The authors have cited numerous literature. I wonder whether all of them are necessary and appropriate. I found papers from two journals, Géographie physique et Quaternaire and Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, had over 20 items in the reference. Several authors' papers are cited  in many times. The authors of this paper must check the necessity of the literature citation! "

 

Then I assigned the paper to Prof. Kuhle for initial review. Prof. Kuhle is a board member of the Journal of Mountain Science.

Prof. Kuhle submitted his comments and recommendation This Saturday. He recommended rejecting this paper and listed the reasons to reject it. At the same time, he wrote a letter to me to criticize the bad phenomenon in scientific community.

In his letter entitled '' Science, reviews and JMS philosophy", he wrote:

"Dear Dunlian,

a couple of month ago you asked me what is to do with JMS to get a very
high quality scientific journal.

Please be so kind and allow me to come back to this question and to show
you the following manuscript, which I reviewed for JMS today. It
contains no new scientific results at all, but it refers to 159 other
papers around the world. That means it is not an sciennific manuscript
but a completly diplomatic one. 90 percent of the published papers
even in high ranking journals are like this.
All potential reviewers which were mentioned in this 159 references are
potentially interested and hoped that this manuscript becomes printed. The two
political reasons are obvious: 1. The reviewer is mentioned in paper(s)
of the references. 2. There is no scientific compititaion because there
are no new results at all.

Conclusion: New scientific results - of cause - are always difficult to be  promoted by competitors (reviewers) for publication in the same scientific
community.

Consequences: JMS should be preferentially a very good scientific
journal, because for that it should disclaim a very high ranking
position within the normal scientific ranking scale (i. e. ISI, Thomsen
Reuters).

Attached I send you the manuscript as a good empirical example and my
review."

The follows are review comments by Prof. Kuhle in the ScholarOne Manuscript system:

(in order to be easily understood, I made some editing)

 

1. Previously published: by together the authors of 159 papers were referred in the references.
Please note that authors took the results of the 159 papers even without discussing or explaining the context by their own opinions (
they have no own opinions at all). The maintext of this manuscript is only 13 pages including abstract and summary, but the references are more then 13 pages.

It is a pure compilation of results from the other authors without scientific context, relation and correlation to the authors' own scientific and original work. The mentioned results even do not assign the originator of each cited article.

2. Three of totally five Figures are drawn from other authors of the literature. The content of Figure 1 is trivial.
One rather diffuse photograph is presented without authorship; the poor description of it is without scientific analyses and exact information of the locality.    

3. Only literature compilation without any new hypothesis, methods, perspectives and techniques.  

4. It is just an overview of locations from 9 low mountain ranges of ca. 2300 km horizontal distance, without own sufficient dataset. The maintext of this manuscript is only 13 pages including abstract and summary.  

________________________________________

编者后记:

不好好做研究,好好写文章, 想通过引用知名专家学者的文章来讨好(可能的)审稿人,结果不一定能够如愿!

如果为了提高某些刊物的Impact factor而对这些刊物上发表的文章进行大肆引用, 这既不符合学术规范,也会对自己的学术声誉造成影响.



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