Gaming the System? Testing the Ability to Artificially Generate Academic Citations Through Incentive-Based Promotion
Posted: 4 Mar 2018
Date Written: February 14, 2018
The purpose of this article is to determine to what extent that it is possible to ‘game’ the current academic citation system by artificial means. This article studies a twelve month period of scholarly promotion through a variety of mechanisms in order to test the ability of incentive-based promotion to generate academic citations as calculated by Google Scholar.
My primary hypothesis is that the Google Scholar algorithm is not sophisticated enough to be able to distinguish between the value of actual and artificial citations, and thus the citation-based system is flawed and should be de-prioritized as an assessment tool for academics until such gaps are eliminated. A follow-up article will assess the results of this experiment and its methodology, and discuss what implications that these findings may have for the current citation-based system of academic value measurement for scholars.
Keywords: citations, incentive-based promotion, journal rankings, h-index, academic assessment, research ethics, impact factor, Google Scholar
JEL Classification: Y2, Y5, Y8
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation