SCIRUS is an admirable effort the the publishing house of Elsevier to provide a globally accessible portal to open access research information found in a variety of sources, such as open access journals and institutional repositories
SciTopics are intended to be syntheses, brief current reviews consisting of explanation and up-to-date references for researchers on scientific, technical and medical topics. According to the site, “Only invited authors are able to publish a concise overview of their particular area of research. Researchers need to have a number of articles published in peer-reviewed journals in order to qualify for SciTopics author status. Authors are free to invite co-authors to jointly create and update the content of their SciTopics page.”
So it all sounds fine in principle, at least as a soap box for researchers to promote their own findings or point of view. I decided to take a look a popular post in this young resource, and one of the most popular turned out to be a topic review on vaginal drug delivery, first posted in June of 2008. The author cites a few of his own articles and more of other authors, and both a SCOPUS and SCIRUS RSS feed of the most recent articles show up in the right-hand portion of the page.
I decided to take a look at one other entry, recently deposited, on Analytical modeling of fuel cells, cell components and stacks. To my chagrin, every one of the 16 articles cited in the bibliography were by A.A.Kulikovsky. The article is also by Andrei Kulikovsky. You would think that Professor Kulikovsky is the only researcher writing on this topic, but the SCOPUS and SCIRUS RSS feeds displays other authors. By trusting the author and eliminating any editorial pass before publication, the SciTopic reviews have the potential to escalate self-citation practice on a large scale.
While there may be nothing technically wrong with the formating and accuracy of the Analytical modeling of fuel cells, cell components and stacks SciTopic, the appearance does little to lend credibility to this publishing effort.