Cairo-based Hindawi Publishing Corporation’s mega-publication Scientific World Journal has lost its impact factor.
Each June, the Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports® product releases its proprietary citation data for the previous calendar year. Each year, some journals lose their impact factor due to “anomalous citation patterns resulting in a significant distortion of the Journal Impact Factor.”
This year, Scientific World Journal is among the 51 journals whose impact factors have been withdrawn. The 2010 impact factor was listed at 1.524.
This is a significant setback for Scientific World Journal, which was acquired by Hindawi in 2011 and converted from toll to open-access.
A message to me from Hindawi’s Chief Strategy Officer Paul Peters explains what the company sees as the source of the impact factor loss.
Last week Thomson Reuters contacted us to say that The Scientific World Journal would not be included in the upcoming JCR because of two articles that had been published in the journal which were found to have an excessive concentration of citations to a journal entitled Cell Transplantation. These two articles (located [at] http://www.tswj.com/2011/341532/ and http://www.tswj.com/2010/463612/abs/) had been accepted for publication under the editorial leadership of the journal’s former publisher, and when they were brought to our attention we retracted both of them on the grounds that they violated Hindawi’s Policy Against Citation Manipulation (http://www.tswj.com/policies/), and the corresponding sanctions were applied to both the authors of these manuscripts as well as the Editorial Board Member who had accepted them for publication.
When these two articles were first brought to our attention, we investigated the situation and found that they had both been written by members of the Editorial Board of Cell Transplantation and accepted for publication by one of The Scientific World Journal’s former Editorial Board Members, who is one of the Section Editors for Cell Transplantation. In addition to these two articles, there were several other articles published both in Cell Transplantation itself as well a number of other journals with excessive citations to articles from Cell Transplantation. In response to these excessive citations, which would have significantly increased Cell Transplantation’s Impact Factor, Thomson Reuters decided to exclude both Cell Transplantation as well as the journals that included any articles with excessive citations to Cell Transplantation from the current Journal Citation Reports.
So, it appears that Hindawi Publishing Corporation is the unlucky victim of the improper actions of others and has responded honorably and professionally. The authors of the first retracted article (A Showcase of Bench-to-Bedside Regenerative Medicine at the 2010 ASNTR) are David J. Eve, Cesar V. Borlongan, and Paul R. Sanberg, all from the Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair, Department of Neurosurgery & Brain Repair, University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa, Florida, United States.
The authors of the second retracted article (Regenerative Medicine for Neurological Disorders) include Eve and Sandburg (above) and also include Dong-Hyuk Park and Yong-Gu Chung, both from the Department of Neurosurgery, Korea University Medical Center, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea, Republic of Korea.
We’ve observed that Hindawi has removed the impact factor statement from the journal’s web page and replaced it with a statement that reads “Impact Factor Coming in 2013.” The earliest it could return would be late June, 2013.
Scientific World Journal (also called TheScientificWorldJournal and ScientificWorldJournal) covers over 90 scientific topics and tries to compete with other omnibus journals such as PLoS ONE, and SAGE OPEN. It charges an article processing fee of $1,000 for each accepted article.