Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ji-Huan He affected Impact Factor of TMNA

An interesting story is told by mathematician Zbigniew Błocki. It concerns the Impact Factor (IF) of Topological Methods in Nonlinear Analysis (TMNA). Ji-Huan He was guest editor of Vol. 31, No. 2, June 2008. Amazingly, TMNA is not on our master list of Ji-Huan He's editorial positions.

Here is his story in the original Polish. Pułapki oceny parametrycznej stosowanej przez MNiSW (PDF) and Postscriptum: TMNA na 12. miejscu na świecie!

Google's English translations are given below. As usual the machine translation is poor. But the story will be interesting to El Naschie Watch readers.

Traps used by the parametric evaluation of Higher Education
Zbigniew Błocki

24 January 2011 on Higher Education released a memo indicating that the Topological Methods in Nonlinear Analysis (TMNA) was the most bulleted Polish magazine science (including all disciplines) to yield as the only 32 points (corresponding list was published on 10th December 2010). It seems that it is worth this chance take a closer look, and especially the factor of Impact Factor (IF) of the magazine (according to database ISI Web of Knowledge, Thomson Reuters), from which the score of the Ministry directly depends.

First of all, it should be noted that, by Polish standards TMNA ​​is, by perhaps consensus mathematical circles, a very good magazine. It was established relatively recently (the first number is from 1993) and has had a fairly short time great success, such as only one of several Polish magazines were placed on a mathematical so. Philadelphia list. In TMNA ​​appeared during these almost 20 years a lot of good work by a very well-known mathematicians. From personal experience I can mention one: N. Trudingera article and X.J. Wang Hessian Measures I (TMNA 10 (2) (1997), 225-239) proved become so important in the theory of nonlinear elliptic equations of second order that its second part was published in the Annals of Mathematics, widely considered the best mathematical journal in the world.

Until such a high position in the ranking TMNA ​​Ministry was probably still a surprise. Let's first look like IF 2008 and 2009 (the latest year for which data are available) Polish mathematical journals from a list of ISI, with the definition Polish magazine accept the presence on the list in December of that Ministry. For comparison also see their ratio of Mathematical Citation Quotient (MCQ) by MathSciNet database of the American Mathematical Society, which, in general unless Opinion of the environment, better than the real value of the IF gives mathematical journals.

As you can see TMNA ​​lideruje only if IF, this advantage is very evident only in the year 2009. It turns out that this sudden jump IF, and thus rise in rankings Ministry, has to do with the case described recently in a study prepared by General Assembly of the International Mathematical Union, India, during which discussed include about the problem of fair assessment of journals. The result has been established special committee was formed several texts on the subject, including the work of DN Arnold and K.K. Fowler Fri Nefarious Numbers (Notices Amer. Math. Soc. 58 (3) (2011), 434-437; her first version was placed on arxiv.org in October 2010). The authors show in it, an example of applied mathematics that IF gives a fairly distorted picture of actual the journals, also analyze examples of manipulation of the pointer. Key space in this analysis is the practice of journal International Journal of Nonlinear Sciences and Numerical Simulation (IJNSNS), which led the one who does not hold the assessment high-value expert scientific journal citations to the top of the rankings.

One of the elements that enabled this success was to provide editors IJNSNS Ji-Huan He and Xu Lan in the 2008 special volume TMNA, which was by Arnold and Fowler described in detail. Placed there, the publications have brought as much as 14% of all citations IJNSNS in the year 2008. And although the impact of this special volume on IF TMNA ​​IJNSNS was in the article Nefarious Numbers exactly as described, is not due to him how he influenced the IF of TMNA. This seems worth exploring, especially in light of the memo of the Ministry.

TMNA articles from the years 2007 and 2008 (they just decide IF 2009) were quoted in 2009 (according to the database Web of Knowledge), a total of 105 times. Because these items were together 88, this gives the above-mentioned IF 2009, namely 105 / 88 = 1.193. What was the impact on this number of special issue prepared by the editors TMNA ​​IJNSNS can be tested counting the citations of all 21 articles in this volume. It turns out that in the year 2009 these citations were a total of 79, or 75% of the total. If so do not take into account the work of a number prepared by the editors IJNSNS, IF 2009 is TMNA ​​would only 26/67 = .388.

From these 79 citations the most, as many as 34, a short article relates the main pre- Editor J.-H. He: Recent Development of the Homotopy Perturbation Method (TMNA 31 (2) (2008), 205-209). The study by Arnold and Fowler, this mini-article is analyzed, but only for a list of works cited in it, which worked on IF IJNSNS and indicators Parametric same author. The latter are nb. As Arnold and Fowler point out, quite space, higher than the average for the Nobel Prize winners in physics (and such indicators for the physicists are usually at least several times higher than for mathematicians). It is therefore probably also look at the substantive content of this work, the more so because so far it was cited a total of up 86 times (and thus its impact on the IF TMNA ​​will in the future even greater.) For comparison, famous article Green and Tao on arithmetic sequences in the set of prime numbers, which also appeared in 2008 (Ann. of Math. (2) 167 (2) (2008), 481-547), had so far 36 citations.

Actually, the only substantive part of this study J.-H. He is a very superficial Analysis of approximation of solutions to the problem of u''+ u ² = 0, u (0) = u (1) = 0, with solutions corresponding linear equations. In addition to the fragile contents there is absolutely nothing to justify such a bombastic title for example. I'm afraid that if someone sent a similar job on the contest of student works. Józef Marcinkiewicz, it odpadłaby in your tracks. It add that the editors MathSciNet database at all resigned from the review of this article, which, as known to occur only when absolutely trivial publication.

As it clearly shows the case described here, a relatively small number of citations can sometimes dramatically change the assessment of parametric mathematical journal. I impression that for this reason our area is exposed to similar manipulations more other disciplines. And therefore, I think, we should be on such matters particularly sensitive.

Cracow, 30.01.2011

Postscript (22/02/2011). Michael Karoński drew my attention to the journal Random Structures & Algorithms, which admittedly is issued by John Wiley & Sons, founded But in Poznan (also, moreover, in the early 90s), where he still headquartered editors. This journal for years with the highest category in the scoring of the Ministry, its indicators in recent years are as follows: IF 2008 - 1.253, IF 2009 - 1.162, MCQ, 2008 - 0.86, MCQ, 2009 - 0.76. But clearly it is not treated as the Ministry of Polish magazine.

Postpostscript (TMNA on the 12th place in the world!) In the latest Journal Citation Report for 2010 magazine Topological Methods in Nonlinear Analysis was on the 12th place among all the mathematical journals (ex aequo with the Journal of Differential Geometry)! In 2010, articles published in TMNA in 2008 and 2009 (there were a total of 102) were cited 152 times, which gives the Impact Factor = 1.490 152/102 . Of these 152 citations of 107 falls on one of the eight numbers that appeared at that time (31 (2) - the guest editor was the famous Ji-Huan He [This link to El Naschie Watch is how I came across the story. --Jason]). Had to skip this number, Impact Factor for 2010 would be 45/81 TMNA ​​= 0.556, which would give the 154th place. Interestingly, if instead Impact Factor to apply Article Influence Score, is on the 12th instead TMNA there would be the 152nd place.

Translate English to Arabic
محمد النشائى El Naschie Watch محمد النشائي El Naschie News محمد النشائى محمد النشائي All El Naschie All The Time محمد النشائى


  1. Speaking of impact factors, "Ranking Watch" is back with this follow-up on THE rankings:

  2. Very nice, Slipper.Mystery. It's good to see that Richard Holmes gives credit to Jason and is not reluctant to quote El Naschie Watch Blog.

  3. Thanks, Slipper.Mystery!