“However, most poll respondents felt that citation-based indicators are useful, but that they should be deployed in more nuanced and open ways. The most popular responses to the poll were that citation-based indicators should be tweaked to exclude self-citations, or that self-citation rates should be reported alongside other metrics (see ‘The numbers game’). On the whole, respondents wanted to be able to judge for themselves when self-citations might be appropriate, and when not; to be able to compare self-citation across fields; and more….
But this is where there is a real problem, because for many papers citation data are locked inside proprietary databases. Since 2000, more and more publishers have been depositing information about research-paper references with an organization called Crossref, the non-profit agency that registers digital object identifiers (DOIs), the strings of characters that identify papers on the web. But not all publishers allow their reference lists to be made open for anyone to download and analyse — only 59% of the almost 48 million articles deposited with Crossref currently have open references.
There is, however, a solution. Two years ago, the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC) was established for the purpose of promoting open scholarly citation data. As of 1 September, more than 1,000 publishers were members, including Sage Publishing, Taylor and Francis, Wiley and Springer Nature — which joined last year. Publishers still to join I4OC include the American Chemical Society, Elsevier — the largest not to do so — and the IEEE….”