Academic Publishing Guest post paper mills

The Highly Cited Researchers of Clarivate

"here is my advice to Clarivate: better get lost. " - Alexander Magazinov

Alexander Magazinov will never make it to being a “Highly Cited Researcher”. So he snipes at scholarly geniuses who achieved this status due to their immense intelligence and superhuman hard work. Even at those already vetted by Clarivate and Retraction Watch!

On 15 November 2022, Clarivate, the metrics company behind the popular jokes called “Journal Impact Factor” and “Highly Cited Researcher”, informed the humanity:

Clarivate Names World’s Influential Researchers with Highly Cited Researchers 2022 List

[…] This year Clarivate extended the qualitative analysis of the Highly Cited Researchers list, to address increasing concerns over potential misconduct (such as plagiarism, image manipulation, fake peer review). With the assistance of Retraction Watch and its unparalleled database of retractions, Clarivate analysts searched for evidence of misconduct in all publications of those on the preliminary list of Highly Cited Researchers. Researchers found to have committed scientific misconduct in formal proceedings conducted by a researcher’s institution, a government agency, a funder or a publisher are excluded from the list of Highly Cited Researchers.”

In parallel, Clarivate’s new business partners, the world’s only existing, qualified, and infallible research integrity authority, the Watchdogs of Retraction Watch, brought their own article, an interview with some kind of executive at Clarivate named Gali Halevi. Who told Retraction Watch the following:

“In 2019 we began to exclude authors whose collection of highly cited papers revealed unusually high levels of self-citation. Inordinate self-citation and unusual collaborative group citation (citation circles or cabals) can seriously undermine the validity of the data analyzed for Highly Cited Researchers. These activities may represent efforts to game the system and create self-generated status. […]

With the implementation of more filters this year, the number of potential Highly Cited Researcher candidates excluded from our final list increased from some 300 in 2021 to about 550 in 2022.”

My hands hurt now from all the applauding. Thank you Clarivate! Thank you Retraction Watch! Finally all the crooks are expelled and we can all rest assured that whoever earned the badge of “Highly Cited Researcher” must be truly an internationally-acclaimed scientific genius advancing humanity, and never ever some sniveling fraudster who bought his entire CV from papermills.


Under the new Clarivate-Retraction Watch system, Highly Cited Researchers who had to retract their papers are in danger of losing their title. But not necessarily: Halevi explained that “We have always excluded retracted highly cited papers from our analysis“, and if a paper was retracted for what Retraction Watch logged to be not misconduct, then these retractions don’t count.

This is why countless papermill customers and citation buyers who managed to avoid retractions are so far perfectly safe. The trick is simple: instead of buying many authorships, focus on buying many citations. Let the fake papers of others citing you get retracted, this won’t endanger your own Highly Cited Researcher status. Otherwise: only publish in journals where you trust editors to be just like you: stupid, lazy and/or criminal.

Now, Alexander Magazinov wants you to meet some Highly Cited Researchers whose title is currently not in danger of being revoked by Clarivate. Unless Clarivate execs indeed operate by reading blogs, so here we go.

Better get lost, Clarivate: reflections on the 2022 Highly Cited Researchers list

By Alexander Magazinov

First off, let’s look at those who are out of the 2022 list.

  • Ji-Huan He and Davood Domiri Ganji, the old El Naschie‘s guard.
  • Ali Chamkha, Davood Toghraie, Masoud Afrand and Arash Karimipour, and seemingly all the rest of the magnetohydrodynamics gang.
  • The most prominent fractional derivative bullshitters, like Dumitru Baleanu and Abdon Atangana.
  • Irrelevant citation plantators: Mohamed Elhoseny, N. Arunkumar, Yu-Ming Chu.
  • Even entire great nations are totally absent from the list, for example, Pakistanis. What a disappointment to Tasawar Hayat. Or Romanians. Not sure who could make it to the list besides Baleanu and Simona Gabriela Bungau, but still.
  • Didier Raoult. Do I need to say more?

You may get an impression that Clarivate’s exclusions are a result of carefully analyzing a lot of data, building citation graphs, other techniques of network analysis? How about an alternative hypothesis: all exclusions are sourced from a few blogs? That is, the exclusions I am aware of can be attributed to various blog posts. So let’s attach a “failed scientist” label to all those excluded and discuss who is in.

Changhe Li on Clarivate

Changhe Li, or a “certain C Li,” whose exercises on cutting, grinding and machining of metals are cited… like everywhere, including biomed. Often together with a “certain YM Chu,” which really makes me wonder how Clarivate could spot one but not another, if they really worked with hard data.

Here, a sizeable batch of citations in a milled product on lithium-ion batteries, co-authored by our friends – management researcher Maria Jade Catalan Opulencia and biologist Abduladheem Turki Jalil together with Indian and Iraqi customers and a mandatory co-author from Iran.

R. Sivaraman , Indrajit Patra , Maria Jade Catalan Opulencia , Rafid Sagban , Himanshu Sharma , Abduladheem Turki Jalil , Abdol Ghaffar Ebadi Evaluating the potential of graphene-like boron nitride as a promising cathode for Mg-ion batteries Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry (2022) – doi: 10.1016/j.jelechem.2022.116413

Another batch of citations to Li, also in a milled product, which the Iranian scammers Mahmood Barani, Abbas Rahdar and Ghasem Sargazi offered to eagerly Europeans, Gustavo Ruiz-Pulido, Dora I. Medina, and Francesco Baino.

Gustavo Ruiz-Pulido , Dora I. Medina , Mahmood Barani , Abbas Rahdar, Ghasem Sargazi , Francesco Baino, Sadanand Pandey Nanomaterials for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Head and Neck Cancers: A Review Materials (2021) doi: 10.3390/ma14133706

While this paper is about head & neck cancers, more general references, somewhat unexpectedly, emphasize grinding and machining applications of nanoparticles. The presence of a certain C Li on the author list of many of those might be a part of an explanation.”

Carried by Li, his co-authors from Qingdao University of Technology and elsewhere made it into Clarivate’s list: Min Yang, Yanbin Zhang, Dongzhou Jia and Runze Li. Because why not?

Hafiz Muhammad Ali on Clarivate

Also a regular co-author of Li, Hafiz Muhammad Ali, is yet another “highly cited” man. Let’s take one of his papers and have a look at its citation statistics.

Hey, what’s the top citing journal? It’s Herr Prof Dr Dirk Uwe Sauer‘s Journal of Energy Storage, and most of the citations indeed come from one single “special issue,” yeah, “Recent Advances in Battery Thermal Management,” edited by Masoud Afrand, Nader Karimi, Cong Qi and Mohammad Arjmand.

Likewise, the names of Sharifpur, Sajadi, Khetib, Cheraghian and Alqaed are not unfamiliar: each left a footprint in that Afrand’s “special issue.” In addition, the same “special issue” boosted Cheraghian’s citation count by quite a bit: by 128 when the issue stood at 74 papers (it has since grown to 84). Which is still inferior to Hafiz Muhammad Ali’s gains from the same source, 150 citations – perfectly reasonable that Ali made it to the “highly cited” list, and Cheraghian did not.

It is hard to understand how Ali has not been picked up by Clarivate if they really analyzed raw data. But if the data was sourced from blogs, that would be an explanation: Ali’s gains, while sizeable, allow him to reach only top-6 beneficiaries, not worthy of being mentioned, except in passing.

By the way, the journals trailing far behind Journal of Energy Storage have also shown their welcoming attitude to Afrand’s gang. Coincidentally, all these journals are published by Elsevier – and it is too tempting to ask this publisher on what terms they are with Afrand and friends.

Rafael Luque on Clarivate

Rafa Luque is of course on the “highly cited” list, no surprise at all. So I have an illustration to his “highly cited” status, a review from 2009 that has just passed the mark of 1000 citations.

Robin J. White , Rafael Luque , Vitaliy L. Budarin, James H. Clark, Duncan J. Macquarrie, Supported metal nanoparticles on porous materials. Methods and applications Chemical Society Reviews (2009) doi: 10.1039/b802654h


Figures 6 and 14 are reproduced (with due citation) from earlier studies sharing common authors with this review paper. Namely, Fig. 4 Fig. 3
The authors may have paid attention that these images show an overlap, despite representing different materials.

Is it really just a minor fault on the side of the authors to copy overlapping images that are supposed to show different materials? The two source papers Campelo et al 2008 and Budarin et al 2008 have a common author, who is also a co-author of the review. And it is Luque.

Now, a recent publication by Luque, in Environmental Science and Pollution Research. Here, our Cordoba man as the last author of a forgery sold via some Iranian Telegram channel. This was uncovered by Nick Wise.

Zahra Asadi , Sina Dobaradaran , Hossein Arfaeinia , Mohsen Omidvar, Sima Farjadfard , Rauf Foroutan , Bahman Ramavandi , Rafael Luque Photodegradation of ibuprofen laden-wastewater using sea-mud catalyst/H2O2 system: evaluation of sonication modes and energy consumption Environmental Science and Pollution Research (2022) doi: 10.1007/s11356-022-23253-9

On the 23rd of February 2022 an advert was placed on Telegram offering authorship of a paper with keywords matching this one. This is the only paper with these keywords according to Web of Science.”

Although the advertisement mentions Elsevier as the target publisher, there is no surprise that the article ended up in Springer’s stable. One of the many possible explanations is that it was submitted to many places, and while an undisclosed Elsevier venue initially demonstrated a higher handling pace, the first to come up with a firm acceptance was Springer.

The PubPeer user Paralabrax clathratus noted a weird phrase, “vegetative electron microscopy.” This phrase, apparently, is only known to Google Scholar in one (genuine) paper from 1959 (due to a mishap in two-column text processing), a few obscure studies in local Iranian journals and… in another article-shaped hairball produced by Luque and friends.

Navid Rabiee, Sepideh Ahmadi , Omid Akhavan , Rafael Luque Silver and Gold Nanoparticles for Antimicrobial Purposes against Multi-Drug Resistance Bacteria Materials (2022) doi: 10.3390/ma15051799 

In light of the above, the self-citation level of the first author [Navid Rabiee] might be higher than warranted.

Oh, and what’s the primary affiliation of Luque in the Clarivate’s list? Not his native Universidad de Cordoba. Not Xi’an Jiaotong, where Luque indeed had a guest position, a place infamous as the affiliation of the Magnetohydrodynamics milling guru Omid Mahian and a place from where the University of Uppsala rector Anders Hagfeldt (also on the HCR list) sourced an unfortunate fake. Not even People’s Friendship University (RUDN) in Moscow, infamous for both their rector and president officially, on the record, supporting genocide of Ukrainians. It nevertheless hasn’t prevented Luque from signing threats to a fellow miller Saeed Shirazian with a RUDN affiliation, or listing this affiliation on recent papers, as late as August this year.

But ditch RUDN now, behold:

King Saud University, Saudi Arabia! Why not accept a deal to lend your name for a few dozen kilobucks of cash to boost a Middle Eastern trash pit in trash pit rankings?

Zeid Alothman on Clarivate

From the same King Saud University, there is another “highly cited” researcher, Zeid A. ALOthman. Who might be grateful to Luque for a few joint papers that were instrumental to his recognition by Clarivate.

Like here:

Xue-Qin Ma , Ya-Qi Shan , Meng-Yao Wang , Zeid A. Alothman , Zhi-Xiang Xu , Pei-Gao Duan , Jun Zhou , Rafael Luque Mechanochemical Preparation of N,S-Doped Graphene Oxide Using (NH4)2SO4 for Supercapacitor Applications ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering (2020) doi: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.0c05918 

Or, perhaps, joint endeavors with the German professor in China, Florian Stadler, and his magical postdoc Amit Kumar weren’t entirely useless for ALOthman as well:

Amit Kumar , Sunil Kumar Sharma , Ajay Kumar , Gaurav Sharma , Najla AlMasoud , Taghrid S. Alomar , Mu. Naushad , Zeid A. ALOthman , Florian J. Stadler High interfacial charge carrier separation in Fe3O4 modified SrTiO3/Bi4O5I2 robust magnetic nano-heterojunction for rapid photodegradation of diclofenac under simulated solar-light Journal of Cleaner Production (2021) doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.128137 

Figure 2. Noise for 3 patterns is rather similar. Repetitions in red pattern.

There is more fake data in that paper, visit PubPeer. And you can read about Stadler and Kumar here:

Let’s meet another “highly cited” chemist, Seeram Ramakrishna.

Here, Ramakrishna with Mohammad Arjmand. Remember Arjmand? Yes, the very guy who co-guest-edited the above mentioned scam “special issue” in Journal of Energy Storage with Afrand, Karimi and Qi.

Seyyed Alireza Hashemi, Hamid Reza Naderi , Seyyed Mojtaba Mousavi , Sonia Bahrani , Mohammad Arjmand , Ayrat M. Dimiev , Seeram Ramakrishna Synergic effect of laser-assisted graphene with silver nanowire reinforced polyindole/polypyrrole toward superior energy density Carbon (2022) doi: 10.1016/j.carbon.2021.12.028 

Raman spectrum from Figure 3 (f) shows unusual noise repetition.”

And here with Luque, because maybe that Spanish man is the soul of the team.

Mehdi Moayed Mohseni , Maryam Jouyandeh , S. Mohammad Sajadi , Aleksander Hejna , Sajjad Habibzadeh , Ahmad Mohaddespour , Navid Rabiee , Hossein Daneshgar , Omid Akhavan , Mohsen Asadnia , Mohammad Rabiee , Seeram Ramakrishna , Rafael Luque , Mohammad Reza Saeb Metal-organic frameworks (MOF) based heat transfer: A comprehensive review Chemical Engineering Journal (2022) doi: 10.1016/j.cej.2022.137700

To continue with chemists, how about Rajender S. Varma of US EPA and Palacky University of Olomouc in Czechia, where he closely collaborates with the cheater Radek Zboril?

Rajender Varma on Clarivate

Here, a citation of a paper on moths and pheromones, authored by Neil J. Vickers, a giveaway of a practice often going hand-in-hand with Iranian papermill activities:

Pejman Ghaffari-Bohlouli , Hafez Jafari , Nayere Taebnia , Ali Abedi , Armin Amirsadeghi , Seyyed Vahid Niknezhad , Houman Alimoradi , Sina Jafarzadeh , Mahta Mirzaei , Lei Nie , Jianye Zhang , Rajender S. Varma , Amin Shavandi Protein by-products: Composition, extraction, and biomedical applications Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition (2022) doi: 10.1080/10408398.2022.2067829 

“Sericin is made up of 18 amino acids, 70% of which are hydrophilic with an isoelectric point of around 4, allowing it to absorb considerable amounts of water while remaining partially soluble (Vickers 2017).

Step two involves breaking the disulfide bonds with a chemical that are classified as oxidative, reductive, and sulphitolysis based on their reaction mechanism (Vickers 2017).”

When I’m citing you, will you answer too?

What do moth pheromones on one side have to do with cancer research, petrochemistry, materials science, e-commerce, psychology, forestry and gynaecology on the other? They are separated by just one citation!

Here, joint efforts with our previous hero, Seeram Ramakrishna, resulted in a total mess with scamming scanning electron microscope images:

Zohreh Bakhtiarzadeh , Shamila Rouhani , Ziba Karimi , Sadegh Rostamnia author has email , Titus A.M. Msagati , Dokyoon Kim , Ho Won Jang , Seeram Ramakrishna , Rajender S. Varma , Mohammadreza Shokouhimehr Hydrothermal self – sacrificing growth of polymorphous MnO2 on magnetic porous – carbon (Fe3O4@Cg/MnO2): A sustainable nanostructured catalyst for activation of molecular oxygen Molecular Catalysis (2021) doi: 10.1016/j.mcat.2021.111603

Fig. 3: overlap between panels (b) & (c), (b) & (d). According to the caption, (b) does not show the same material as (c) and (d).

To continue with Varma’s scamming scanning electron microscopy adventures, there are several papers where the instrument is obviously misreported. Like here:

Neda Motamedi , Mahmood Barani , Azadeh Lohrasbi-Nejad , Mojtaba Mortazavi , Ali Riahi-Medvar , Rajender S. Varma , Masoud Torkzadeh-Mahani Enhancement of Thermostability of Aspergillus flavus Urate Oxidase by Immobilization on the Ni-Based Magnetic Metal–Organic Framework Nanomaterials (2021) doi: 10.3390/nano11071759

Methods: “The SEM method (S-4800 machine, Hitachi, Japan) was used for the morphology observation of synthesized NPs, which operated at 10 kV and 100 mA.

The fact is: the image is obviously coming from a FEI Quanta 200 machine, not a Hitachi one. And the voltage is indicated as 25 kV on the image, not 10 kV, as in the text. Well, I have an idea how it could happen. Maybe, just maybe, this paper-shaped product was assembled by an unnamed student somewhere in Iran? Perhaps this student just had a library of random images to choose from, and even less knowledge about SEM than I have?

Senthil Kumar on Clarivate

We are not done with chemists yet! Meet Ponnusamy Senthil Kumar from Sri Sivasubramaniya Nadar College of Engineering, Chennai, India. Nah, strike that: from Taif University, Saudi Arabia.

Senthil Kumar has a massive PubPeer record, due to his obsession with tortured phrases and lazily plagiarised reviews. An example, also featuring another “highly cited” researcher, Rajendran Saravanan:

R. Sivaranjanee , P. Senthil Kumar , R. Saravanan , M. Govarthanan Electrochemical sensing system for the analysis of emerging contaminants in aquatic environment: A review Chemosphere (2022) doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2022.133779

This is mostly a lazy survey: a concatenation of paraphrased fragments of the source papers. The type of paraphrasing used here often obscures the meaning of the source text.”

Another one:

A. Saravanan , P. Senthil Kumar , A. Annam Renita Hybrid synthesis of novel material through acid modification followed ultrasonication to improve adsorption capacity for zinc removal Journal of Cleaner Production (2018) doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.10.109 

A portion of the medical problems are looseness of the bowels, kidney disappointment…

His “looseness of the bowels” didn’t preclude Senthil Kumar from assuming some editorial positions, like in Springer’s Ecological Processes, IOP’s Environmental Research Communications, and, until recently, Elsevier Sustainable Chemistry and Pharmacy. Perhaps it is because of valuable editorial recommendations given by Senthil Kumar to the right and left, his tortured output is indeed highly cited, and citations are therefore well-visible on the Feet of Clay tab of Guillaume Cabanac’s Problematic Paper Screener?

Amina Othmani , Sara Magdouli , P. Senthil Kumar, Ashish Kapoor , Padmanaban Velayudhaperumal Chellam , Ömür Gökkuş Agricultural waste materials for adsorptive removal of phenols, chromium (VI) and cadmium (II) from wastewater: A review Environmental Research (2022) doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.111916 

Our incomplete tour around highly cited chemists is about to be cut here, but we won’t leave George Z. Kyzas without a honorable mention.

George Kizas on Clarivate

Here, see Kyzas, in a joint venture with Abbas Rahdar, Mahmood Barani and Saman Sargazi (we have previously seen Ghasem Sargazi, most likely a relative of Saman) engaging in very familiar shenanigans.

Saman Sargazi , Zahra Ahmadi , Mahmood Barani , Abbas Rahdar , Soheil Amani , Martin F. Desimone, Sadanand Pandey , George Z. Kyzas Can nanomaterials support the diagnosis and treatment of human infertility? A preliminary review Life Sciences (2022) doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2022.120539 

Are references [26 – 33] really about bioinformatics? A reader might get an impression that these references are rather about increasing the citation count of a certain YM Chu.
Mizra Hasanuzzaman on Clarivate

Outside the realm of chemistry, there is a plant scientist Mirza Hasanuzzaman, with this retraction:

“We, the Editors and Publisher of the Journal of Plant Nutrition have retracted the following article:
Integration of phosphorus with organic manures and plant residues on growth and production of hybrid rice,
Tariq Shah, Tayyaba Andleeb & Mirza Hasanuzzaman
Journal of Plant Nutrition (2019)
DOI: 10.1080/01904167.2018.1554679
Since publication, significant concerns have been raised about the integrity of the published data and overlap with the article listed below:
Growth and Productivity Response of Hybrid Rice to Application of Animal Manures, Plant Residues and Phosphorus.
Amanullah, Shams-ul-Tamraiz Khan, Asif Iqbal and Shah Fahad
Front. Plant Sci. (2016) 7:1440.
When approached for an explanation, the authors did not provide their original data or any necessary supporting information for the observed overlap. As verifying the validity of published work is core to the integrity of the scholarly record, we are therefore retracting the article.
The authors listed in this publication have been informed and Professor Hasanuzzaman and Dr. Andleeb have cooperated with the investigation and agree with this retraction. We have received no response to our questions from Dr. Shah.”

Looking at Hasanuzzaman, I came across one article, co-authored with another “highly cited” researcher, Masayuki Fujita. It has been cited 674 times to date, but what happens if we restrict our view of citing papers to those from PLoS ONE only? Oops, three out of five are retracted, all in a wave of one-hundred-plus retractions due to fake peer review!

Source: Dimentions

All in all, according to my counts, 15 different Hasanuzzaman papers are cited by 14 PLoS ONE retractions, like this one, this one and this one. Also, 10 papers of Fujita (7 with Hasanuzzaman) are cited in 10 retracted papers. It seems to be an overall trend that retracted PLoS ONE papers indeed show some emphasis on Hasanuzzaman and Fujita.

Kadambot Siddique on Clarivate

There is another “highly cited” researcher, seemingly over-cited in the same group of papers. A certain Kadambot H.M. Siddique from Australia, 17 papers of whom were cited in 19 PLoS ONE retractions.

Recently Siddique became a victim of the Vickers’ curse, here you go:

Muhammad Khuram Razzaq , Muqadas Aleem , Shahid Mansoor , Mueen Alam Khan , Saeed Rauf , Shahid Iqbal , Kadambot H. M. Siddique Omics and CRISPR-Cas9 Approaches for Molecular Insight, Functional Gene Analysis, and Stress Tolerance Development in Crops International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2021) doi: 10.3390/ijms22031292 

“The detection of valid metabolomic markers will enhance stress tolerance in plants [59,61].”

Reference 61 is the Vickers paper about moths.

Festus Bekun on Clarivate

Completely unnoticed, even on PubPeer until recently, probably because no one cares, comes another “highly cited” scientist, Festus Victor Bekun. His current affiliation is Istanbul Gelisim University, Turkey, and the previous one was South Ural State University in Chelyabinsk, Russia, a “university” that used to invite various scammers – Saeed Shirazian and Afrasyab Khan, to name two.

Now remember the Environmental Science and Pollution Research journal that accepted a forgery from Luque? Here, in the same journal, language skills are demonstrated by Bekun and his co-authors:

Abdulrasheed Zakari , Festus Fatai Adedoyin , Festus Victor Bekun The effect of energy consumption on the environment in the OECD countries: economic policy uncertainty perspectives Environmental Science and Pollution Research (2021) doi: 10.1007/s11356-021-14463-8 

“Be that as it may, the evaluations on the primary request distinction information arrangement affirmed the dismissal of the invalid theory at a 1% level of noteworthiness for the entirety of the examples and acknowledged elective speculations.”

Whether this awkward sentence can be excused by English-not-being-the-first-language, or whether it is just a product of automated paraphrasing – it is up to your judgement, dear reader.

Muhammad Imran on Clarivate

One more great scientist to meet, Muhammad Imran from Australia.

Yasir Mehmood , Farhan Ahmad , Ibrar Yaqoob , Asma Adnane , Muhammad Imran , Sghaier Guizani Internet-of-Things-Based Smart Cities: Recent Advances and Challenges IEEE Communications Magazine (2017) doi: 10.1109/mcom.2017.1600514 

“Fig. 1 from this study (C) is somewhat similar to an illustration from a 2012 article by Wilson da Silva (D).”

A meaningless compilation of texts from elsewhere plus hijacked illustrations, that’s what makes a perfect highly-cited IoT review paper!

Praised by Clarivate is Mehdi Sharifi-Rad from Kerman University of Medical Sciences. Mehdi’s Dimensions record is unexpectedly void after 2020, a search for his whereabouts revealed only a university page in Persian, also last updated in 2020, his degree is listed there only as M.Sc. Another funny thing is, out of Mehdi’s 72 papers listed on Dimensions, all but one are co-authored by a certain Javad Sharifi-Rad, and the remaining one has a pathetic citation count of four.

Nevertheless, Javad, who has much more publications to offer and much more citations to count, hasn’t made it to the list. Maybe peevish inside disorder is the cause? Either that or fly slack.

Bahare Salehi , Marina Dimitrijević , Ana Aleksić , Katarzyna Neffe-Skocińska, Dorota Zielińska , Danuta Kołożyn-Krajewska, Javad Sharifi-Rad , Zorica Stojanović-Radić, Selvaraj Milton Prabu , Célia F. Rodrigues, Natália Martins Human microbiome and homeostasis: insights into the key role of prebiotics, probiotics, and symbiotics Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition (2021) –
doi: 10.1080/10408398.2020.1760202

The authors would like to apologize for their poor judgment” in the retraction notice from June 2022:

“The above article has been retracted due to significant overlap in content with the following previously ­published papers:

  • Olveira, G. and I. González-Molero. 2016. An update on probiotics, prebiotics and symbiotics in clinical nutrition. Endocrinol Nutr 63 (9):482–494. doi: 10.1016/J.ENDOEN.2016.10.011
  • Knight, R., C. Callewaert, C. Marotz, E.R. Hyde, J.W. Debelius, D. McDonald, and M.L. Sogin. 2017. The Microbiome and Human Biology. Annu. Rev. Genom. Hum. Genet. 18:65–86. doi: 10.1146/annurevgenom-083115-022438
  • Lloyd-Price, J., G. Abu-Ali, and C. Huttenhower. 2016. The healthy human microbiome. Genome Medicine 8:51. doi: 10.1186/s13073-016-0307-y

This is by Smut Clyde about one of the authors of that retracted paper:

But then again, Mehdi has a retraction, too, and not completely unrelated to the peevish inside disorder paper, as Javad, Bahare Salehi and Zorica Z. Stojanović-Radić are common authors on both retractions. To be more precise, Mehdi’s retraction is actually a withdrawal, and with a hollow withdrawal note Elsevier show us their contempt to tell what exactly happened. The “withdrawn” paper had no less than FIVE authors named Sharifi-Rad:

Javad Sharifi-Rad , Bahare Salehi , Zorica Z. Stojanović-Radić , Patrick Valere Tsouh Fokou , Marzieh Sharifi-Rad , Gail B. Mahady , Majid Sharifi-Rad , Mohammad-Reza Masjedi , Temitope O. Lawal , Seyed Abdulmajid Ayatollahi , Javid Masjedi , Razieh Sharifi-Rad , William N. Setzer , Mehdi Sharifi-Rad , Farzad Kobarfard , Atta-ur Rahman , Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary , Athar Ata , Marcello Iriti Medicinal plants used in the treatment of tuberculosis – Ethnobotanical and ethnopharmacological approaches Biotechnology Advances (2017) doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2017.07.001 

“This article has been withdrawn at the request of the author(s) and/or editor. The Publisher apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.”

Left outside this exposition are, for example, Diego Oliva, Poom Kumam, Arivalagan Pugazhendhi, Amir H. Gandomi. Mark Griffiths has already been featured on For Better Science. And devil it knows whom else we have there: like a larder full of mice, where you can’t remember each one by its name.

Nuttingham Trash University

“I will not by myself, or be instructing or encouraging any other person or howsoever othewise, publish or cause to be published words or otherwise howsoever make statements to others which wrongfully refer to Nottingham Trent University and/or their employees and for any person or any body associated with Nottingham Trent University”

The Retraction Watch post promoting Clarivate’s list triggered a lively discussion, in which nobody appeared too enthusiastic. The key thoughts are best conveyed by copying what the original commentators wrote, so that’s exactly what I am about to do.

For example, outsized output, in which individuals publish two or three papers per week over long periods, by relying on international networks of co-authors, raise the possibility that an individual’s high citation counts may result from co-authors alone when publishing without the individual in question. If more than half of a researcher’s citations derive from co-authors, for example, we consider this narrow rather than community-wide influence, and that is not the type of evidence we look for in naming Highly Cited Researchers. Any author publishing two or three papers per week strains our understanding of the normative standards of authorship and credit.”
And yet Mark Griffiths is on this list.

By “lol”

Mark Griiffiths on Clarivate

At a glance, the listings under mathematics appear worse than useless, and one would think they would be negatively correlated with other measures. There might in principle be disciplines where this sort of measurement has relevance. But perhaps not in the current state of publishing“.

By “glc”

A total of 9 highly citied researchers have wrongly indicated their primary affiliation as Taif University in the latest list.
Clairvate should immediately withdraw such misleading list and take necessary [steps] against these dubious researchers.”

By “Little”

Representatives of Clarivate might use this post to further clean up their list next year. But well, it is imminent that new frauds will replace them. So here is my advice to Clarivate: better get lost.


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14 comments on “The Highly Cited Researchers of Clarivate

  1. Great work indeed. This Clarivate list is truly a joke, as well as the whole concept of metrics applied to judge research quality. I wonder if any intrepid soul will one day help Leonid to set up a FBS Database with all the names, institutions, nr of flagged papers per group, etc, etc, of all the crooks this website has reported since 2015 up to today.


  2. Klaas van Dijk

    Great work, thanks alot for all of your efforts.


  3. magazinovalex

    Bekun’s buddy, one of many “environmental” crabheads in the HCR list.

    #GIM congratulates Dr Avik Sinha, Faculty of General #Management and #Economics Area, for being #featured among Top 1% in @Clarivate ‘s list of Highly Cited Researchers (HCR), 2022 and becoming one of the 25 #Indian #researchers who are a part of this highly #prestigious list.


  4. Albert Varonov

    Lo and behold, 1.4k publications in less than 20 years, this makes an average a publication per 5 days for a period of 20 years with every day counted!!! Things are a lot worse than it looks, the Scopus profile of this “genius” is


  5. This industrial scale perversion of scientific publishing is made explicit.
    What is unclear to me is why Clarivate is so generous in granting impact factors to bogus journals, and is turning a blind eye to obvious deviant strategies aimed at boosting their impact factors. What do they gain from that, against the growing risk that the shit will eventually hit the fan and their reputation will be destroyed?


  6. How about Amit Bhatnagar??? How could he have made it to the HCR list? Total scam.


    • magazinovalex

      Thanks, took notes.

      Meanwhile, you can post whatever concerns you have about Bhatnagar on PubPeer. That would be much appreciated.


      • Yes, it would be important to make Amit Bhatnagar’s unethical behaviour public.


    • His papers come mainly from international “collaboration” only with little role of his own. Another such researcher is Eveliina Repo from the same University (LUT University, Finland).


      • magazinovalex

        Ah, it’s THAT corner. Minions of Mika Erik Tapio Sillanpää. Now things are clearer to me, thanks!


      • Very good spotting. You could also explore Eveliina Repo’s papers published with Central South University, China, and also those with Iranian researchers. In the case of Amit Bhatnagar, it seems that approximately 90% of his papers arise from “international collaborations”, the content of these should also be scrutinized.


      • magazinovalex

        A random spotting featuring Eveliina Repo, who hasn’t (barely?) made it to the HCR list, but anyway.

        Published by Hindawi, why not.

        Abbasi, S., Mahboob, A., Bakhtiari Zamani, H., Bilesan, M. R., Repo, E., & Hakimi, A. (2022). The Tribological Behavior of Nanocrystalline TiO2 Coating Produced by Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation. Journal of Nanomaterials, 2022.


  7. Pingback: Russkiy Mir at Elsevier and MDPI – For Better Science

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