The propagation and dispersal of misinformation in ecology: Is there a relationship between citation accuracy and journal impact factor?
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Research almost always builds upon existing, peer-reviewed literature. This is how we understand the development of ideas in our disciplines, formulate meaningful new questions, and advance our knowledge. But several of the authors of this article have noted disturbingly inaccurate reporting of our study findings when cited by others. We have also noted copying and pasting of phrases and citations from published articles in a way that distorts or even completely changes the meaning of the source. For us, this calls into question the quality and meaning of scientific advancement. It is tempting to believe that citation practices are worse in lower-impact journals, and that we can more easily rely on the quality of the logic and ideas presented in more prestigious journals. But we have noticed inaccurate citations in some high-impact journals as well. These observations led us to attempt to quantify the extent of inaccurate citation in the recently published ecological literature, to com ...
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- 1. School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, WITS 2050, Johannesburg, South Africa
- 2. Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland, 7602, South Africa