Citation Analysis of the Papers' Published in Acta Stomatologica Croatica using Web of Science Database

Vesna Borić

 

School of Dental Medicine University of Zagreb, Central Dental Library

 

 

Address for correspondence:

Vesna Borić

University of Zagreb School of Dental Medicine

Central Dental Library

Gunduliceva 5, 10000 Zagreb

Croatia

Tel: +385 1 4802 172

Fax: +385 1 4802 159

E-mail: boric@sfzg.hr

 

 

Received: March 31, 2008

Accepted: April 21, 2008

Available online: June 15, 2008

Acta Stomatol Croat. 2008;42(2):123-139.

Original scientific article

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Abstract

Bibliometric analysis of the journal Acta stomatologica Croatica (ASCRO) was made for the period of 1966-2006. Purpose: The research was to determine a degree of communicability of the journal, i.e. the influence of the papers published in the journal on the other papers and scientists. Material and Methods: Citation analysis was conduscted on a specimen acquired by browsing the Web of Science (WoS) databases and the data were processed by descriptive statistics. Results:  The 185 papers with a total of 257 citations were singled out by a search. Each of the cited papers has an average of 1,4 citations. If we know that a total of 1.273 papers have been published in the journal, each paper has been cited 0,2 times in average. An analysis of the errors has shown that in 50,2 % of papers all the elements of the bibliographic record have been cited correctly and a total of 163 citation errors have been made. Most of the errors (65 %) are present in the title of the journal. The highest number of citations per paper is 5. The highest number of citations per year is 28, in the year 1991. The division of the citations by age of the paper shows that a maximum of 9,3 % citations has been accomplished in the 3rd year of publishing the paper, after which the number of citations has decreased. ASCRO has been cited in 65 journals, mostly (44,7 %) in Coll. Antropol. A total of 60,7 % self-citations has been registered and 21 % of the citations have been quoted by foreign authors only. Conclusions: It is finally possible to determine that we should not be content with the present level of influence of ASCRO to the domestic and foreign scientific community. The analysis shows a relatively modest total number of citations, a large number of self-citation and a small share of the foreign authors' citations which doesn't contribute to the communicability of the journal on the worldwide level. Excellence needs to be set as a general goal. In order to achieve that, the level of quality of all of its segments needs to be elevated in a complex process of publishing a scientific journal, especially excellence of published papers.

 

Key Words: Periodicals as Topic; Bibliometrics; Citation Analysis; Self-Citations

 

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Introduction

The goal of the scientific research is to discover a small part of the reality, to deepen the existing knowledges and to implement them in the mosaic of the overall human knowledge. There are usual methods, procedures and the means for that, while the inevitable segment is presenting the results of the research before the scientific community for their judgement. The most important formal communication channel are the primary scientific journals. In order to set the communication, it is neccesary to insure the availability of bibliographic data on paper as well as to organize the distribution system of the primary documents whether they are stored on printed or electronic media.

A systematic acquisition of the data on  the existence of some researches are carried out by the bibliographic reference centres. The information are accessible to the interested parties via secundary publications. For a long period of time bibliographic centres have been creating and publishing printed index publications such as Current Contents, Index to Dental Literature, Index Medicus, Excerpta Medica, Science Citation Index, Social Science Citation Index, Arts & Humanities Science Citation Index etc. All the mentioned publications have transformed into the databases. The digital versions are registered under the new names, they have been equipped by the new browsers and offered to the users as reference centres. Hence we are now using PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science (WoS) or  Web of Knowledge (WoK) database, while the largest general secondary publication Current Contents has kept its name. A brief review of the mentioned transformation of the ISI (Institute for Scientific Information/Thomson Scientific) is brought by Stojanovski. (1)

The publishers of the primary journals are trying to include their publication in as many secondary databases as possible to increase the “visibility“ of the journal. However, covering as many journals as possible is not the primary goal of the commercial publishers, but a dominant economic logic. It is known that most of the databases are indexing a relatively equal number of titles for a long number of years, even though the production of the journals worldwide is continually growing. That means that the criteria for the inclusion of new journals are becoming more strict. The good side of that is the motivation of the aspirant for constant improvement of the quality of the journal. On the other side, sometimes the journal meets all the criteria and still receives a negative reply by the publisher's evaluation board with an explanation such as: the x scientific field is covered well in the y database. That can discourage the editorial boards of smaller scientific communities of non-English-speaking countries since such journals are given almost no chance to be included regardless of their quality. It is known that ISI databases cover only 5-7 % of the worldwide journal production. The latest extensive research has shown that  5,9 % of the Croatian scientific journals are indexed in WoS-u.(2)  It is completely legitimate for the database owner to evaluate the costs and the profit and to make autonomous decisions. However, the editorial boards are evaluating the global trends in scientific publishing and they are choosing the direction of the development of their publications according to the results they wish to accomplish. (3)

Many non-profit publishers have recognized the possibilities of the latest technology and keep finding alternative models of scientific communication and the improvement of the accessibility of their publications. We are the witnesses of a strong expansion of the internet as a global network. The boost of the e-publishing takes place in the beggining of the 1990-ies. Appart from the printed version, numerous journals have started publishing digital editions as well. Those two factors, as well as the constant rise of the prices of the subscriptions, have probably contributed to the appearance of the open access to the information (OA) movement, which is growing stronger in the 2nd half of the 1990s. (4) It is based on the belief that the results of the research, which are financed by public funds, represent a public property and as such have to be accessible by the public. The idea has a growing number of supporters, especially amongst the scientists and non-profit publishers. Hence today we have numerous journals accessible via open access whether it is via editors internet pages or within larger specialised directories/portals such as DOAJi, Hrčakii and others. A large number of Croatian journals is also beeing published at the same time in electronic edition including Acta stomatologica Croatica (Online) since 2006. It is important to emphasize that the peer-review system is entirely the same as in the printed journals. At the same time, self-archiving of digital texts via  public accessible web pages is also being developed. It started as the enthusiastic activity of the individuals and smaller groups of colleagues, and it has grown into organized articles' repositories often grouped by their subject, such as PubMed Centraliii for biomedical field. Soon after that appear repositories of certain institutions whose goal is digital storage of the complete scientific production of a scientific institution. A brief view of new initiatives and possibilities in OA has been layed out by Silobrčić. (5)

Acta stomatologica Croatica (ASCRO) is the only national dental scientific journal published continually from 1966 to this day. The evaluation of the quality of a journal is important first of all to the editor and the publisher, since a better evaluation will have directly and indirectly a positive influence on the journal. Unfortunately, to this day have not been established the unique criteria of the quality evaluation. There are different methods of evaluation. By their basic approach they can be divided into objective and subjective. (6) Objective methods of journal evaluation are based on statistic processing of how many times have their papers been cited, while the subjective methods are based on some sort of evaluation of an expert. In spite of the basic characteristic, the objective methods have their flaws - technical limitatons of noting citations, a selective approach of the existing citing bases, the prejudice towards some languages or types of papers, the problem of evaluating multiple authorship, the motives for citing etc. (7) Therefore, for the evaluation of the quality of the journals it is advisable to use more various methods, while the citing analysis gives a perception from one point of view only. Based on the number of citations in ISI statistical publication Journal Citation Reports (JCR), factors of the influence of the journal are being calculated (Impact Factor, IF) as well as other statistic indicators for each year. ASCRO is not indexed in WoS so it is not a subject to statistical processing in JCR. WoS consists of three bases - Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-exp), Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) and Arts & Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI). The fact that the journal is not a part of the WoS database does not  mean that the citations of the papers in that journal are not registered in that database.

The goal of the research is to determine the communicability of the journal by citing analysis, i.e. the influence of the papers published in ASCRO to the other papers and scientists. The fact that a scientist is citing another paper leads us to the direct conclusion that the cited paper has, in some way, influenced another research and due to that the citing analysis has been chosen. In order to obtain as accurate idea of the citing as possible, authors' self-citations have been particularly analysed.

 

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Materials and methods

By citing analysis it is possible to encompass both papers which have been cited and those that are citing another paper, and both of them are denoted by the term citing. First of all, it was necessary to separate a group of papers from ASCRO that were cited in WoS. Each paper was identified in the database by six parameters: author's surname, initial(s) of the author's forname, journal title, year, volume and first page. They were used to connect cited and citing paper. An analysis specimen was acquired by browsing SCI-exp since 1966, SSCI since 1966 and A&HCI since 1975. The time span it covers is since the foundation of the database until July 2007. Among the offered possibilities, “Cited reference search“ was chosen, and the research was conducted on the base of „Cited work“. Since ASCRO is not indexed in WoS, the journal title is not standardized. It is known that in such cases various forms of journal title appear since the official abbreviation of the journal title is not always used. In the earlier researches (8) numerous errors in recording of the papers have been noticed. Therefore, a supporting datafile with bibliographic data  of such papers has been created. It has helped to create a strategy of searching on the base of „Cited work“, trying to cover a maximum number of papers. The control searches were carried out by the field „Cited author“. However, there is a possibility that all the papers have not been identified. Bibliographic data acquired by browsing were compared to the original, and by doing that many errors in other elements of the bibliographic description were identified. It is important to emphasize that all the noticed errors were corrected, which lead to the correction of the number of the papers. Further analysis were conducted with the corrected data. This selection was stored in MS Excel 2007 table, which was used for further processing.

In the second part of the research, citing papers have been analysed, i.e. the browsing determined who, where, when and how many times has cited a paper published in ASCRO. Bibliographic records of all the citing papers were manually transferred from the WoS databases to the MS Excel, which was used to statistically process the data. For the analysis of the fields to which the journals of the citing papers belong to, a division from the JCR for 2002 was used. In case a journal covers two fields, only one was selected.

 

 

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Results

In order to single out the needed citations as completely as possible, the journal title was searched using a combination of letters (grafema) act* sto* c*. After eliminating the records which related to other journals, a group of 194 articles from ASCRO was singled out. By additional search by authors, a number of incorrect citations of journal title were noticed. Further searches were conducted by these letter combinations: act* som* cro* (2 records), act* str* cro* (1 record), act* sto* scand* (1 record), act* asto* cro* (1 record) i ascro (2 records) which makes a total of 201 articles. 

 

A) Analysis of cited papers

In WoS databases, a cited paper is identified by six parameters which are: author's surname, initial(s) of the author's forname, journal title, year, volume and first page. Since any of the mentioned parameters can contain an error, a detailed analysis of the acquired results was conducted – they were matched to the original and the found errors were corrected. Due to that, the number of papers obtained by the search was decreased from 201 to 185 cited papers, which gives a total of the cited papers that make a final specimen for further analysis. It was determined that all the analysed papers were cited 257 times. It means that each of the cited papers had an average of 1,4 citings. If we know that a total of 1.273 papers were published in the journal in the specified period, we can see that each published paper was cited an average of 0,2 times.

Errors in citing: The analysis has shown that out of the total of 257 citations, only 128 citations (49,8 %) were completely correct, while 129 papers had at least one incorrect element of the bibliographic record. Hundred citations (38,9 %) contains one error, 24 citations (9,3 %) has two errors, 5 citations (1,9 %) have three errors, which makes a total of 163 errors. It was difficult to gather the citations of the same paper if the author's surname was misspelt, especially if it was the first letter  (Poljak and Foljak, Ciglar and Giglar). An example of the bibliographic data being cited for the same paper in four different ways is shown in Table 1, and neither of them was fully correct. Incorrect parts are printed in bold. We can see in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd citation the faulty page number; in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th faulty abbreviation of the journal title; in the 4th faulty initial of the author's forename. 

The analysis of the types of errors has determined that 163 citations (63,4 %) contain a minimum of one error. The largest number of errors relate to the incorrect abbreviation of the journal title in 106 of them (65 %). The smallest number of errors relate to the volume and year of publishing in 6 citations (3,7 %). The percentages relate to the papers with an error. The data is shown in Table 2.

Errors in abbreviations of journal titles: For the journals indexed in the WoS,  the abbreviations of the journal titles are determined and are standardized while entering the new papers. However, Acta stomatologica Croatica is not a part of that corpus. Therefore, the journal title in cited papers appears in forms which were stated by the authors of the citing papers. The official abbreviation of the analysed journal is Acta stomatol. Croat., acording to the ISSN International Centre. Although it is emphasized in the journal, numerous other forms have appeared. The analysis has determined that it appears in the database in 19 different forms. In 151 citations (58,8 %) the official abbreviation of the journal is quoted, while in 106 (41,2 %) papers it appears in the other 18 forms of the journal title, as shown in Table 3.

Analysis of the number of the citations:  Table 4 presents the data of  the distribution of papers per number of citations and it is based on the original browsing and after corrections were made. It is visible that a large number of papers has one citation, as expected. After the corrections were made their number is decreased from 81,6 % to 75,1 %. The number of papers with two, three or four citations is increasing. Only the number of papers with five citations is unchanged, which makes the largest number of citations per paper.

Number of citations per years in correlation with the number of papers per year is shown in Figure 1. In analysed period the number of citations with smaller fluctuations is continually growing since 1966 until 1991, when there was a maximum of  28 citations.  Afterwards, the number of citations is significantly dropping until 1997 (4 citations), only to suddenly increase to 17 citations in 1998. The second maximum of 21 citations was noted in 1999. A mild increase is visible until 2002, after which a number of citations is decreasing as was mostly expected due to relatively short period od publishing articles.

Analysis of the citations per age is presented in Table 5. The first column shows a difference between the year of citing and the year of publishing the paper. The age of the references is an indicator of the recentness of the research. But, the basic papers of a certain field can draw attention of the scientific community for a long period of time. On the other hand, from time to time a paper can be found in the focus of the recent researches long after being published. We can say that they were ahead of their time. Determining the age of citing the papers from ASCRO can be very interesting.

Table 5 shows that 8 papers (3,1 %) were cited the same year when published. The number of the citations is rapidly increasing from 22 (8,6 %) in the 1st and 2nd year of publishing to the maximum of 24 papers (9,3 %) three years after publishing. Later the number of citations slowly decreases unti there is only one citation 34 years since publishing. Two more significant increases of the number of citations are obvious 11 and 14 years after the paper was published.

 

B) Analysis of the citing papers

Analysis per field the journal covers: Papers from ASCRO were cited in a total of 65 journals, 61 of which belong to SCI-expended database, 3 to SSCI database and 1 to A&HCI database. Analysis of the scientific fields of the journal according to JCR for 2002 and the number of citations per fields of the journal is presented in Table 6. It is neccesary to point out that the subfield dentistry is within the fielf of medical science and that the papers were cited 83 times in 25 different journals, which makes 30,1 % of the total number of journals.

Analysis shows that the largest number of citations (117) is shown in the field Antropology in only 3 titles of journals. The field Medical science follows  with 113 citations of papers from ASCRO but in 45 different titles of journals.

Table 7 states all the journals and their number of citations. The titles of the journals are stated according to the JCR abbreviations. Within the field Medical science 25 journals from subfield Dentistry are selected with papers from ACRO being cited 83 times.

The analysis shows an extremely high number of  115 citations in the journal Coll. antropol. – 44,7 %, while in all the other journals 142 citations were registered, i.e. 55,3% Table 8.

Analysis of the authors' self-citations: Every citation in which any co-author of the citing paper is the co-author of the cited paper, is concidered to be a self-citation in the analysis. A detail analysis shows that in a total of 257 citations 156 (60,7 %) are self-citations. Independent citations can be taken as an estimation of the competent experts of the science field who are more often unknown, unlike the reviewers. 

In order to achieve the best quality of estimation, an analysis of the co-authorship of the self-citations was made. It was determined that 196 (76,3 %) papers were published by domestic authors, 54 (21 %) papers were written by foreign authors only and 7 (2,7 %) papers were published in co-operation of domestic and foreign authors. Out of 196 papers of only domestic authors, 116 (59 %) are self-citations; out of 54 papers of only foreign authors 34 (63 %) are self-citations and out of 7 papers published in co-operation of domestic and foreign authors 6 (86 %) are self-citations.

Analysis of the author's countries: An important indicator of communicability of the journal is definetly the country of origin of the author of the citing papers. It is determined that they come from 29 countries. The largest number of citations from ASCRO was in papers published by the Croatian scientist – in 196 papers. Authors from USA follow with 16, Bosnia and Herzegovina with 5, from Japan and Great Britain with 4 each, from Australia, Brazil and Slovenia with 3 each, from Bangladesh, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Italy, Netherlands, Germany and Sweden with 2 each and, finally, from Argentina, France, Irerand, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey with 1 paper each. If we observe the situation over the continents, we can see that most of the authors come from 15 European countries, 7 from Asian countries, 4 from American, 2 from Australian and 1 from African country. 

 

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Table 1 An example of errors in citing a paper

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Table 2 Proportion of errors per types

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Table 3 Abbreviation of the journal title in citations

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Table 4 Distribution of the papers per number of citations

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Figure 1 The number of citations and papers per year

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Table 5 Division of citations per age of the article

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Table 6 Division of the citations per field the journal covers

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Table 7 Division of the citations per field and journal

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Table 8 Number of citations per journal

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Discussion

A) Analysis of the citing papers

The analysis has noted a total of 257 citations which relate to 185 papers from ASCRO. Each of the cited papers has an average of 1,4 citations. However, since in the 41 year period 1.273 papers have been published in the journal, it means that each paper was cited 0,2 times. (9, 10) The results of the analysis of the Croatian STM journals (Science, Technology, Medicine) (2) have shown that each cited paper has an average of 2,6 citations. According to the estimation based on the number of published papers, each of them has an average of 0,4 citations. To be able to match the results we have to narrow down our specimen to the same time period. It means that the starting year is 1975, the papers were summed up until 1998 and the citations until 2001. This way we have a total of 795 papers and 219 citations which means that each paper was cited 0,28 times. We can see that the citedness of ASCRO is below the average of the Croatian journals. We can conclude that it is necessary to put an extra effort in the improvement of the quality of the papers of ASCRO.

An error analysis has shown that as much as 50,2 % of citations contain at least one incorrect element of the bibliographic record. The highest percentage of errors is recorded in citing journal titles in 65 % (Table 2). If we consider all the papers, there are 41,2 % citations with an error, which means that when searching by official abbreviation of the journal title we would find only 58,8 % citations. A direct comparison of these results to the result of 37 % citations with incorrectly stated journal title in the analysis of the Croatian journals (2) will not give a realistic image. The authors of the stated paper have introduced a category of an alternative title. Based on that category they did not identify a difference such as bioch and biochem as an error. That way a number of different forms of abbreviating was accepted as correct. That may have not been the best decision since it is known that there is only one official abbreviation of the journal and it is given by the ISSN International Centreiv via national ISSN centres. A unique form of abbreviation according to the WoS could have been accepted as a second form of the (alternative) abbreviation. This can seem too harsh a criteria, but a certain percentage of errors will exist even if we set very strict criteria. By discarding them the possibility of identification of the journal is decreased, as well as relating the citations to their paper which should not be in anyone's interest. To identify a journal WoS does not use the official abbreviations, instead it uses its own abbreviations which is a great draw-back. Appart from that, an additional source of problems is defining the size of the title field in the SCI to the maximum of 11 letters, and 21 letter in SCI-expanded. ASCRO abbreviation was cited in 19 different ways, only one of which was correct (Table 3, 1st record).

Most papers have only 1 citing which makes 81,6 % of all the papers (75,1 % after correction of errors), as expected,  and the largest number of citations per paper is 5 (Table 4).

Analysis of the citations and the number of papers per years is presented in Figure 1. The number of papers is growing since 1966 until 1991, with fewer fluctuations, when it reaches its maximum of 28 citations. For the next six years the number of citations is dropping, only to significantly increase in 1998 and reach its peak in 1999 with 21 citations. At the same time, the total number od papers per year since 1966 until 2006 was between 16 papers and 43 papers in 1997. From Figure 1 it is not possible to relate a larger number of papers to the increase in citations. Only the paper with the largest number of citations per paper (5) published in 1991 had a significant influence (18 %) to the maximum of citations in the same year. A general conclusion is that only one paper is significantly statistically distinct, while in the other years usually more papers had fewer citations and influenced the number of citations of  ASCRO.

Analysis of the citations per age: Table 5 shows that in the year of publishing the paper 8 papers (3,1 %) were cited. Until launching the online edition, the accessibility of ASCRO depended on the classic system of its distribution. It was possible to presume that in the year of publishing the paper we are talking about self-citations because it was mainly the authors who had the information on publishing a specific paper in that year. A detail checking of each citing confirmed that presumption. The number of citations is suddenly increasing to 22 (8,6 %) in the 1st and 2nd year of publishing and reaches the maximum of 24 (9,3 %) citations in the 3rd year. After that, the number of citations continually decreases over the years with minor fluctuations, according to the expected normal distribution. The oldest citation is the one of the 34 years old paper. 

 

B) Analysis of the citing papers

Analysis per field of the journal: Papers from ASCRO are cited in 65 journals, 61 of which belong to SCI-expanded database, 3 journals are from SSCI database and 1 journal from A&HCI. A detailed analysis per scientific fields of the journal (according to JCR) shows that the largest number of citations is 117 (42,5 %) and it  refers to only 3 journals in the field of antropology. 113 (41,1 %) citations is in 45 journals in medical science (25 in subfield dentistry). None of the remaining six fields exceeds 3,3 % citations (Table 6 and Table 7). Table 7 shows the number of citations per journal with 115 (44,7 %) citations in only one journal – Collegium antropologicum. In the following journal, J. oral rehabil., there are only 22 (8,6 %) citations. None of the remaining 63 journals brings more than 5 citations. The reason for such distinction of a single journal can be due to the multidisciplinary researches of the scientists of the Department for the Dental Antropology of the School of Dentistry and the Croatian antropologists. Besides, the earlier research of the productivity of the School of Dentistry (8) determined that the scientists of the School have published 39,9 % papers in the journal Coll. antropol. In J. dent. res. 12,1 % papers were published and in J. oral rehabil. 5,4 % papers were published. A significantly smaller number of papers were published in other journals. A positive correlation between the number of published papers in a journal and a number of acquired citations from the same journal is obvious in the 1st and 3rd title, while only 2 (>0,01 %) citations were quoted in J. dent. res. Unfortunately ASCRO is not in WoS, so it is impossible to carry out a part of the analysis that would give a much comprehensive picture. 

Analysis of the authors' self-citations: Analysis of the authors of the citing papers shows that out of the 257 citations 156 of them (60,7 %) are self-citations. Many analyses of the self-citations of certain authors were carried out, as well as those of  journals, groups of journals selected by a criteria based on which we can compare our data. For example, a very similar portion of self-citations (59,6 %) was presented by the results of the analysis of productivity of the Croatian anthropologists. (11)  However, the research of the six major world biomedical journals shows that there are 17 % of the authors' self-citations in applied-medical journals and 20 % self-citations in fundamental-medical journals. (12) Similar data of 18 % of self-citations were determined in the analysis of the papers on diabetes. (13)

There is a large self-citations ratio disproportion between our and international scientific journals. This is somewhat understandable because for international journals' analyses leading journals were chosen with highest impact factors.

Further more, it is determined that 196 (76,3 %) of the citations of ASCRO were cited by domestic authors only, 54 (21 %) by foreign authors and 7 (2,7 %) appear in papers published in co-operation between domestic and foreign authors. A large ratio of domestic authors in cited papers is in correlation with a portion of domestic authors in ASCRO (< 80 %) which was demonstrated by the bibliometric analysis of the journal. (9) In journal Acta botanica Croatica the authors have detected a similar portion of domestic authors (72,5 %), but the analysis has demonstrated an almost reverse share of domestic authors of the citing papers (22 %) compaired to the foreign ones (78 %). (14)

Out of 196 citing papers published in co-operation of the Croatian authors only 116 (59 %) are self-citations; out of 54 citations of only foreign papers 34 (63 %) are self-citations; out of  7 papers published in coauthorship of foreign and domestic authors 6 of them are self-citations. A large portion of self-citations definitely does not have a positive influence on the image of the communicability of the journal – it is quite the opposite.

Analysis of the authors' country of origin of the citing papers demonstrates that the scientists come from 29 countries, mainly from Croatia with 196 papers. Following are authors from USA with 16, from Bosnia and Herzegovima with 5, from Japan and Great Britain with 4 each, from Australia, Brazil and Slovenia with 3 each,  from Bangladesh, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Italy, Netherlands, Germany and Sweden with 2 each, and finally from Argentina, France, Ireland, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey with 1 paper each. The distribution by continents shows that most of the authors are from 15 European countries, they are followed by 7 Asian, 4 American, 2 Australian and 1 African country. A ratio of the citations of foreign authors is quite a fair indicator of international “visibility“ and communicability of the journal. 

The results of the analysis illustrate that we should not be content with the average ratio. We believe that the situation will change in the positive direction due to launching of online edition in 2006, which is available on the Internet free of charge. That way the journal is fully accessible and  the scientists that have not had the chance to read it will be able to do so.v (15) It is possible that the accessibility of the journal to the new group of scientists will increase the number of the accepted manuscripts. That will make the selection easier and will assist the editorial board in improving the overall quality of the journal. 

Each national journal has numerous tasks. The indirect positive influence on the local community is more important than the indirect influence on the broader scientific community. Therefore, its value cannot be estimated only by the basic bibliometric indicators. 

The problems of “smaller“ scientific journals in smaller countries such as Croatia were elaborated by many authors and different paths and methods for their overcoming were suggested (16, 17).

We must not forget that the journal was analysed from the 1st year of publishing, i.e. 1966. Until 1998 the majority of the papers were published in Croatian language. A portion of the papers in English language gradually increased, along with the improvement of the journal, but never exceeded 30%.  From 1998 the journal is bilingual (in Croatian and English). Only then a language barrier was removed and the linguistic predisposition for a larger “visibility“ worldwide was achieved. (9)

Finally, it is possible to conclude that ASCRO is present in domestic and foreign scientific community. Still, present level of impact has to be increased. The analysis demonstrates that a large number of self-citations and a small portion of citations of foreign authors does not contribute to the communicability of the journal on the worldwide level. The general goal should be excellence. To achieve it it is necessary to improve the quality of all the segments in the complex process of publishing of a scientific journal. Every editorial board’s most important goal is to stimulate potential authors to submit scientific articles. High number of scientific articles submissions means higher incidence of good quality articles. Only acceptance of good quality scientific articles enhances journal strength which should be long-term goal of all editorial boards.

 

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