Communications of the Association for Information Systems


The author who sits on an editorial board received a request from that journal's publisher that articles which were submitted to them contain at least five references to that journal. The publisher stated that this request was common practice. A simple three-question, yes/no survey on AISWorld yielded overwhelming consensus that this journal self-citation practice is neither common, nor appropriate, nor ethical. The survey results are presented. In addition, a large number of respondents sent messages discussing their responses. The 21 papers that follow this introductory article are the result of a request to expand responses into short articles for CAIS. Many of the papers are based on solid analysis while others are detailed expositions of points of view. The papers are divided into four groups: analysis of impact factors (an important consideration), responses from editors, discussions of ethics, and analyses of related issues. Based on the responses, this article argues that the request for journal self-citation is a form of “payola” (pay to play) that is ethically inappropriate. The article is also an example of using the “wisdom of crowds” (Surowiecki 2004) as an alternative way to understand phenomena.