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Most researchers acknowledge an intrinsic hierarchy in the scholarly journals (“journal rank”) that they submit their work to, and adjust not only their submission but also their reading strategies accordingly. doi: 10.1038/485149a Pubmed Abstract | Pubmed Full Text | Cross Ref Full Text Scott, S., Kranz, J.
In this review, we present the most recent and pertinent data on the consequences of our current scholarly communication system with respect to various measures of scientific quality (such as utility/citations, methodological soundness, expert ratings or retractions). doi: 10.1039/a802808g Cross Ref Full Text Research Information Network. Activities, Costs and Funding Flows in the Scholarly Communications System Research Information Network.
These data corroborate previous hypotheses: using journal rank as an assessment tool is bad scientific practice. doi: 10.1016/j.respol.20 Cross Ref Full Text Reedijk, J. Sense and nonsense of science citation analyses: comments on the monopoly position of ISI and citation inaccuracies. Report commissioned by the Research Information Network (RIN).
On the other hand, much has been written about the negative effects of institutionalizing journal rank as an impact measure.
So far, contributions to the debate concerning the limitations of journal rank as a scientific impact assessment tool have either lacked data, or relied on only a few studies.
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Peer-review is one of the mechanisms which have evolved to increase the reliability of the scientific literature.
At the same time, the current publication system is being used to structure the careers of the members of the scientific community by evaluating their success in obtaining publications in high-ranking journals.