The three additional and questionable metrics were mentioned in helpful comments left on the earlier blog post.
The first is Advanced Science Index (ASI).
Just like with the predatory publishers, this company demonstrates a serious lack of transparency by not clearly stating its location. If you look at the “contact us” page, there’s only a web form, and the page is devoid of headquarters location information. This usually means that the website is operating out of an apartment in Asia somewhere. The main page makes mention of Germany, but this may be a sly attempt to associate a non-Western operation with a Western country.
The ASI website uses boastful and grandiose language to promote itself and its mission. Under a heading that states, “Making the Future of Science Evaluation,” the company betrays its unprofessional practices with its next line,
Advanced Science Index is an indexing service indexes scholarly journals in all areas and fields of science. It is aiming at rapid evaluation and indexing of all local and international journals.
I’ve copied this verbatim, mistakes and all. This company (and the others described here) is marketing its services to (predatory) journals – not to individual scholars. The journals will then use the bogus measure to promote themselves and to get increased submissions (and therefore article processing fees) from researchers.
Here is how the metric called the ASI-Impact Factor will be calculated, according to the website:
To calculate ASI-Impact Factor following relation would be considered:
Average number of citations to recent articles published in the journal.
A = the number of times that articles published in that journal in 2006 and 2007, were cited by articles in indexed journals during 2008.
B = the total number of “citable items” published by that journal in 2006 and 2007. (“Citable items” are usually articles, reviews, proceedings, or notes; not editorials or letters to the editor.)
2008 impact factor = A/B.
Sound familiar? It’s copied from Wikipedia, without attribution.
THE SECOND NEW METRIC is the ridiculously-named Directory of Journal Quality Factor. This profit-seeking company is from Tamilnadu, India, home to many scam publishers.
On its “About” page, this company says,
The Directory of Journal Quality Factor-DJQF is a gateway that includes the journals and developed from the information of the journals. These informations can be used to calculate Journal Quality Factor for the readers worldwide.
Translation: We are another company that wants to make easy money by charging predatory publishers to assign meaningless metrics to their meaningless journals.
DJQF devotes an entire webpage to explaining its evaluation method, a method that combines subjective analysis with some observational data. I don’t believe it for a second.
THE THIRD NEW METRIC:
I just learned of another likely bogus metric, International Scientific Indexing (ISI). The initialism “ISI” matches Institute for Scientific Information, the firm that originated the legitimate impact factor, now owned by Thomson Reuters.
This one purports to be headquartered in a village in the United Arab Emirates. Its website appears to have been set up in a single day. When will this end?
- Is the altmetrics movement encouraging the emergence of questionable metrics companies?
- Are these metrics just an extension of the expanding predatory publishing industry?
These new metrics often look (or claim to look) at citation data, but they use Google Scholar to gather this data. Google Scholar does not sufficiently screen for quality and includes thousands of predatory journals in its index. Therefore, these novel metrics — if they are really calculated at all rather than just made up — are largely based on citations in predatory journals, making them even less valid.
Don’t be fooled by bogus metrics.
Hat tip: Claudia Holland, et al.