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TitleBring supplementary citations into view
AuthorMcDannell, K TORCID logo
SourceNature vol. 555, no. 7696, 2018 p. 311, Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20180054
PublisherSpringer Nature
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
SubjectsInformation and Communications; Science and Technology; statistics
ProgramGEM2: Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals TransGEM
Released2018 03 14
As David Shotton argues, all publishers should make bibliometric citations free to access, analyse and reuse (Nature 553, 129; 2018). I was disappointed, therefore, to find that references in online-only supplements in Nature can still be invisible, even though the problem was raised ten years ago (F. Seeber Nature 451, 887; 2008).
The use of online-only supplements and the number of citations they host has been rising steeply. For example, a highly cited paper entitled 'Worldwide acceleration of mountain erosion under a cooling climate' (F. Herman et al. Nature 504, 423-426; 2013) uses a global data set compiled by mining data from more than 400 publications. These references are listed only in the paper's Supplementary Information and are invisible to Google Scholar and other citation-metric websites. One of those publications was mine.
As long as citation metrics are used for performance evaluation and to measure impact, lost bibliographic information is damaging ¿ especially for early-career researchers. It is high time that Nature implemented measures to ensure the transparency Shotton advocates.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
This is a Nature Correspondence (short) article related to scientific publishing and transparency regarding citation indices, metrics, and supplementary materials published alongside primary publications.

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