Want to be a great Scientist. Manipulate Google Scholar cites!

Google Scholar uses algorithm. It examines papers and constructs citations based on all analyzed papers. As it is free accessible and includes citations from unpublished papers, Google Scholar is becoming increasingly popular as a key metric for academic performance.

new paper by Emilio Delgado López-CózarNicolás Robinson-García, and Daniel Torres-Salinas posted to arXiv demonstrates how easy it is to manipulate Google Scholar citations. 

we present an experiment in which we manipulate the Google Citations profiles of a research group through the creation of false documents that cite their documents, and consequently, the journals in which they have published modifying their H index. For this purpose we created six documents authored by a faked author and we uploaded them to a researcher s personal website under the University of Granadas domain. The result of the experiment meant an increase of 774 citations in 129 papers (six citations per paper) increasing the authors and journals H index. We analyse the malicious effect this type of practices can cause to Google Scholar Citations and Google Scholar Metrics. Finally, we conclude with several deliberations over the effects these malpractices may have and the lack of control tools these tools offer

This is one scenario, that should caution us, from over-relying on algorithms. Algorithms are great tools, but the more critical a decision is the great the need for a human assessment of the results.

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