On June 26, Clarivate Analytics, the publisher of the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) and producer of the Journal Impact Factor (JIF), released their 2018 report with the JIF data of 2017. In it, three history of economics journals were suppressed for one year (to be considered for re-inclusion in the next year) and got no impact factor for 2017 due to an alleged “citation stacking:” History of Economic Ideas (HEI), the European Journal of the History of Economic Thought (EJHET), and the Journal of the History of Economic Thought (JHET). In 2017, due to the inclusion of the second annual survey published in HEI in the JIF statistics (this didn’t happen with the first survey that they published in 2016), EJHET and JHET got more than 55% of their citations from HEI, most of this (circa 90%) coming only from that one survey. In a small field not used to many citations of current works and without substantial citations coming from outside, the survey produced an increase in citations that was flagged by the quantitative indicators of Clarivate Analytics.
The editors and the publisher of HEI have already appealed to Clarivate, as did Cambridge University Press. The editors of EJHET and JHET wrote a joint letter that was sent to Clarivate on July 2nd and now made publicly available here at the HES website.
We hope that this public statement not only clarifies the matter but also can be accessible to agencies and governmental bodies that do research evaluation in different countries and are going to use the 2017 JIF in their processes.
In conjunction with the editors of HEI and all the publishers, we are monitoring the situation closely and are ready to take further actions as needed.
The editors of EJHET:
Muriel Dal-Pont Legrand – Université Côté d´Azur, France
Richard Sturn – Karl-Franzens Universität, Graz, Austria
Hans-Michael Trautwein – Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Germany
The editors of JHET:
Pedro Garcia Duarte – Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Jimena Hurtado Prieto – Universidad de los Andes, Colombia
For further details on this, there are several links to consult:
Clarivate’s Suppression Note (June 26, 2018)
Clarivate’s JCR Suppression Report
Clarivate’s JCR 2018 Announcement
ScholarlyKitchen Blog Post (June 27, 2018)
RetractionWatch Blog Post (June 26, 2018)