Gaming the System? Testing the Ability to Artificially Generate Academic Citations Through Incentive-Based Promotion

Posted: 4 Mar 2018

See all articles by Jason Miklian

Jason Miklian

International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO); University of Oslo - Centre for Development and the Environment

Date Written: February 14, 2018

Abstract

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

Miklian, Jason, Gaming the System? Testing the Ability to Artificially Generate Academic Citations Through Incentive-Based Promotion (February 14, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3123481

Jason Miklian (Contact Author)

International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) ( email )

Oslo
N-0260 Oslo
Norway

University of Oslo - Centre for Development and the Environment ( email )

P.O. Box 1116 Blindern
K1A 0G9
0317 Oslo
Norway

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