Journal of Soils and Sediments is a relatively new journal and had a relatively high impact factor since it was first calculated in 2008. It got an impact factor of 4.373 for year 2007. The editor seemed to be very proud and showed it off.

A bit of citation analysis shows that most of the citations came from its editors:


For example:

For the 2009 impact factor,  in 2007-2008 the journal published 126 articles, and attracted 256 citations in 2009. However the top citation came from the 2 editors: Henner Hollert with 7 articles and Zhihong Xu with 5 articles. Each of the article was designed to cite the journal 15 times

An editorial published in Environmental Science and Pollution Research Volume 16, Issue 6, August 2009, Pages 607-613: Effect-directed analysis (EDA) in aquatic ecotoxicology: State of the art and future challenges, by Hecker, M. , Hollert, H. has 77 References (You wonder why) got 15 references for Journal of Soils and Sediments.

Another editorial published in Journal of Soils and Sediments Volume 9, Issue 2, April 2009, Pages 83-88: Trends and challenges in soil research 2009: Linking global climate change to local long-term forest productivity, by Xu, Za , Chen, C., He, J., Liu, J. has 80 references (You still wonder why?). 29 self citations to Zhihong Xu and 17 citations for Journal of Soils and Sediments.

So both editors contribute approximately 150 citations to the Journal.

Funny enough, an editorial by Hollert et al. in 2008 titled ” The first impact factor. In June 2008, Journal Citation Reports (JCR) published an impact factor of 4.373 for J Soils Sediments (JSS)” was cited only by another editors in another editorial:

Owens, P.N. , Xu, Z. Recent advances and future directions in soils and sediments research . Journal of Soils and Sediments. Volume 11, Issue 6, September 2011, Pages 875-888. This editorial has 179 references (you know why) and 21 references to  Journal of Soils and Sediments.

In 2010, the journal has 6 Editorials all having a high number of references and self citations

  1. Förstner, U., Salomons, W. Sediment research, management and policy: A decade of JSS. Journal of Soils and Sediments 10 (8) , pp. 1440-1452. 70 references, 20 self citations to JSS.
  2. Salomons, W., Förstner, U. Sediments and the “System”: From site-specific to regional-scale research: A story of joy in researching dirt. Journal of Soils and Sediments 10 (8) , pp. 1436-1439. No self citations to JSS
  3. Xu, Z., Owens, P.N. Our thanks to the editors-in-chief: Ulrich Förstner (Sediments) and Wim Salomons (Intercompartment) Journal of Soils and Sediments 10 (8) , pp. 1435.
  4. Owens, P.N., Petticrew, E.L., van der Perk, M. Sediment response to catchment disturbances. Journal of Soils and Sediments 10 (4) , pp. 591-596
  5. Xu, J., Tang, C., He, J. Molecular environmental soil science at the interfaces in the Earth’s critical zone. Journal of Soils and Sediments 10 (5) , pp. 797-798. 1 references by Xu.
  6. Chen, C., Xu, Z. Forest ecosystem responses to environmental changes: The key regulatory role of biogeochemical cycling. Journal of Soils and Sediments 10 (2) , pp. 210-214. 54 references, 9 self citations to JSS and 17 self citation to Xu.


Next time you want to increase your journal’s impact factor: do an editorial with 80 references (so it is not that obvious) and you can cite 20 references to the articles of that journal.