How to get listed on the ESI ranking of highly cited authors

Illustrates how tongue-in-cheek papers might be taken seriously by naive (or desparate) academics


Early in 2012 I wrote a heavily sarcastic/ironic white paper on "How to become an author of ESI Highly Cited papers", documenting in detail how by using predatory open access journals an academic without any research credentials was able to rise to the top of Thomson Reuters' Essential Science Indicators ranking of scholars in Business & Economics. On my list of white papers, it is listed in conjunction with a reference to Scams rock academic publishing.

Open Access journals - From potential to reality

Subsequently, Nancy Adler and I investigated this phenomenon in more detail leading to a publication in the Academy of Management Learning and Education, discussed in this blogpost.
  • Harzing, A.W.; Adler N.J. (2016) Disseminating knowledge: From potential to reality – New open-access journals collide with convention, Academy of Management Learning & Education, vol. 15(1):140-156. Available online... Publisher’s version.

Not everyone gets irony apparently...

I thought the irony was pretty clear, but today I received the following email, entitled "Publishing a paper journal". It looks like irony doesn't always translate across cultures or maybe the message simply got lost when put through Google Translate :-)
I read about your guidelines about becoming an author of Essential Science Indicators in highly cited papers and i have interest in being one. I really want to publish my paper so kindly help me on the steps to follow. I managed to write a paper on my own after enough readings and a friend advised me to publish in ESI.

[Aside from not getting the irony, the author seems to misunderstand a few other things. It is obviously impossible become "an author of ESI in highly cited papers". Moreover, one doesn't "publish in ESI", ESI being a ranking of universities/academics/journals. One presumes the author meant publication in journals listed in the Web of Science.]