ICON Journal's Citation Manipulation Prevention Policy


In the pursuit of academic integrity and scholarly rigor, ICON Journal has established a set of regulations to govern the practice of citations at multiple levels within the publication process. These regulations are designed to foster fair and unbiased citation practices, ensuring that references are based on the merits of academic content rather than personal or external motivations. In this framework, we outline author-level, peer reviewer-level, editor-level, and journal-level regulations that collectively uphold the integrity of scholarly citations, preserving the authenticity of academic discourse.

Author-Level Regulations:

  1. Author Self-Citation Control: Authors are expected to exercise discretion in self-citation, prioritizing pertinent references that substantiate their research while avoiding excessive reliance on their own prior works.

  2. Honorary Citation Restriction: Authors are prohibited from referencing individuals, be they acquaintances, colleagues, or mentors, with the sole purpose of seeking their approval or favor.

  3. Protection Against Editorial Coercion: Authors should remain resilient in the face of any undue pressure exerted by editorial team members to include specific citations. Citation choices must consistently reflect academic merit rather than external influence.

  4. Prohibition of False Support: Authors must refrain from utilizing citations to bolster their claims if the cited references do not genuinely support their assertions.

Peer Reviewer-Level Regulations:

  1. Peer Reviewer Self-Citation Guidelines: Peer reviewers are required to provide constructive feedback and refrain from compelling authors to include their own less relevant or irrelevant works as references.

Editor-Level Regulations:

  1. Editorial Restraint in Journal Self-Citation: Editors are obliged to abstain from coercing authors into citing a higher number of papers from their own journal, especially when the motivation behind this request is solely to boost citation metrics such as the Journal Impact Factor.

  2. Impartial Handling of Citations: Editors should not exert influence on authors to exclude references from competitor journals. Citation decisions should always be grounded in scholarly relevance rather than driven by competitive considerations.

Journal-Level Regulations:

  1. Prevention of Citation Stacking: Journals and their editorial teams are strictly prohibited from engaging in any coordinated efforts aimed at artificially inflating citation counts. This includes inappropriate citations of each other's work with the intent of manipulating the Journal Impact Factor.

These ICON Journal regulations serve to uphold the credibility and integrity of citations, ensuring they are grounded in academic merit and not influenced by personal, honorary, or competitive motives. Violations of these regulations may result in disciplinary actions in accordance with ICON Journal's editorial policies and guidelines.


Web of science Academy. (2023, June 6). Clarivate. https://clarivate.com/web-of-science-academy/