CiteScore: Advances, Evolution, Applications, and Limitations

Abstract

Elsevier’s (Scopus) CiteScore, a journal-based metric (JBM), has been assigned to more journals than Clarivate Analytics’ Journal Impact Factor (JIF), including journals indexed by Scopus that do not carry a JIF. Unlike JIFs, CiteScore values are openly accessible. The advertisement of CiteScore, like other metrics, by journals or publishers may be in violation of DORA (Declaration on Research Assessment) principles. While use of the CiteScore can provide interesting information about how a journal is being cited, the use of this JBM as a “quality” metric is cautioned.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    https://www.elsevier.com/editors-update/story/journal-metrics/citescore-a-new-metric-to-help-you-choose-the-right-journal; https://www.elsevier.com/about/press-releases/science-and-technology/elsevier-releases-2017-citescore-values (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  2. 2.

    Select examples: https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2016/12/12/citescore-flawed-but-still-a-game-changer/; https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2017/01/11/the-measure-of-all-things-some-notes-on-citescore/ (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  3. 3.

    WoS also indexes conference proceedings, but it is unclear if a JIF has been assigned to any of them: http://wokinfo.com/products_tools/multidisciplinary/webofscience/cpci/ (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  4. 4.

    https://blog.scopus.com/topics/snip; https://www.journalindicators.com/ (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  5. 5.

    https://www.scimagojr.com/ (SJR uses Scopus data but employs Google’s PageRank algorithm; [8]) (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  6. 6.

    https://clarivate.com/webofsciencegroup/blog/citescore-a-non-rival-for-the-journal-impact-factor/ (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  7. 7.

    It would be important to understand how applications for indexing are handled by WoS (including ESCI (Emerging Sources Citation Index)) and Scopus, as well as the transparency behind delisting.

  8. 8.

    https://www.elsevier.com/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/318284/ACAD_RM_FS_CiteScoremetrics_WEB.pdf (of these, 289 are in library and information sciences, with Scientometrics ranked 20th) (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  9. 9.

    https://www.scopus.com/sources (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  10. 10.

    Data drawn from SCIE + SSCI data in 2018 JIF dataset released by JCR in June of 2019.

  11. 11.

    https://www.elsevier.com/?a=91173 (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  12. 12.

    https://www.journals.elsevier.com/postharvest-biology-and-technology/ (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  13. 13.

    https://twitter.com/schneiderleonid/status/1005002314183299072 (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  14. 14.

    Curiously, they only invoked the use of other Scopus-based metrics (Source-Normalised Impact per Paper (SNIP) and Scimago Journal Rank (SJR)) to support their argument, ignoring the JIF totally, supporting arguments that CiteScore is JIF’s arch-rival among JBMs [3]. The same group repositioned their comparison by including the JIF [16].

  15. 15.

    https://sfdora.org/; https://sfdora.org/read/ (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  16. 16.

    https://www.elsevier.com/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/239078/CiteScore_TermsAndConditions.pdf (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  17. 17.

    https://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/aaaj.htm (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  18. 18.

    Clause 6, for publishers: “Greatly reduce emphasis on the journal impact factor as a promotional tool, ideally by ceasing to promote the impact factor or by presenting the metric in the context of a variety of journal-based metrics (e.g., 5-year impact factor, EigenFactor [8], SCImago [9], h-index, editorial and publication times, etc.) that provide a richer view of journal performance.” (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

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Acknowledgements

The author thanks Dr. Joseph P. Vitta (Rikkyo University, Japan) for kind input, comments and suggestions on an earlier version of the paper.

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Correspondence to Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva.

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Teixeira da Silva, J.A. CiteScore: Advances, Evolution, Applications, and Limitations. Pub Res Q (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12109-020-09736-y

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Keywords

  • Biomedical science
  • Citations
  • DORA (Declaration on Research Assessment)
  • Journal-based metric
  • Journal Impact Factor (JIF)
  • r (Pearson’s correlation coefficient)
  • ρ (rs)
  • Spearman’s correlation coefficient)
  • Transparency