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Landslides

Landslides: a top international journal in geological engineering and engineering


geology?
--Manuscript Draft--

Manuscript Number: LASL-D-17-00227R1

Full Title: Landslides: a top international journal in geological engineering and engineering
geology?

Article Type: Original Paper

Corresponding Author: Matjaz Mikos, Ph.D.


University of Ljubljana
Ljubljana, SLOVENIA

Corresponding Author Secondary


Information:

Corresponding Author's Institution: University of Ljubljana

Corresponding Author's Secondary


Institution:

First Author: Matjaz Mikos, Ph.D.

First Author Secondary Information:

Order of Authors: Matjaz Mikos, Ph.D.

Order of Authors Secondary Information:

Funding Information: Slovenian Research Agency Professor Matjaz Mikos


(P2-0180)

Abstract: Scientific literature is becoming daily more and more abundant. Scientific and
professional journals as primary information sources are competing to each other to
attract readership. Their position (ranking, visibility, attractiveness, prestige) in scientific
community can be measured by using different journal bibliometric and scientometric
parameters, journal impact factor being only one of them. Springer Nature publishes
the journal Landslides: Journal of the International Consortium on Landslides since
2004. Being examined in the past by different authors from bibliometric and editorial
point of view, this review on the journal's achievements confirmed the high ranking of
this journal in the fields of geological & geotechnical engineering and engineering
geology. Strong and weak points are discussed from the bibliometric point of view,
stressing the need for higher internationality of co-authorship of published articles in
order to be true international journal. Continuous publishing and the move to a monthly
journal in 2018 will eventually increase journal's h-index and cited half-life of citations,
but further editorial efforts should be directed to attract excellent review papers and
focused technical notes to increase cites per paper. Until now, the journal Landslides is
the foremost journal in the field of landslide disaster risk reduction, and the top young
international journal in the field of geological engineering and engineering geology.

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Introduction

The first issue of the international journal Landslides: Journal of International Consortium on
Landslides was published in April 2004 (Springer, 2017). The main aim of Landslides is to
promote landslide science, technology, capacity building, and to strengthen global cooperation for
landslide risk reduction within the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk
Reduction (ISDR). The journal Landslides is one of the main achievements of the International
Consortium on Landslides, based in Kyoto, Japan. The journal Landslides presents also an
important ICL contribution to the world efforts within the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk
Reduction 2015–2030 that was agreed at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk
Reduction in Sendai, Japan in March 2015 and endorsed by the UN General Assembly in June
2015 (Wannous and Velasquez, 2017).
Critically analyzing a journal from a bibliometric and editorial point of view is an important
task. Sassa et al. (2009) reviewed the achievements of Landslides in the first five years (2004-
2008), and Sassa et al. (2015) did the same for the next five years (2009-2013). Sassa and Arbanas
(2017) discussed the achievements of Landslides from 2004 until September 2016. They stressed
the importance of the Journal Impact Factor (Clarivate Analytics) for visibility and reputation of
the journal. They presented data on annual impact factors, 5-year impact factors, and citation
data for most cited papers and for single journal volumes. Furthermore, they discussed and
presented the view of the journal Editorial Board and some aspects of their editorial policy, such
as article categories, classification of articles, editorial workflow, article downloading rates, and
journal’s best paper award.
Mikoš (2011) used data from ISI Web of Knowledge and Scopus for the first 7 volumes of
Landslides (2004-2010). He evaluated the then current position of the journal in the landslide
research community from a broader perspective than just using impact factor, journal ranking in
a subject category and article downloading data. Other journal metrics, available at the time of
the analysis, such as journal relatedness to other journals in the same field of science, citations
half-life, immediacy impact, journal self-citations, Eigenfactors, Article Influence Score, and
journal h-index, give a more detailed picture of Landslides.
In this paper, I address the question from the paper’s title – is Landslides a top international
journal in the field of geological engineering and engineering geology? To answer this question, I
performed a bibliometric (scientometric) analysis of the journal’s first 13 volumes (2004-2016). I
used different journal metrics (impact factor, 5-year impact factor, the number of highly cited
papers, cited half-life of published papers, and Hirsch h-index) derived from the Web of Science
(Clarivate Analytics, 2017), Scopus (Elsevier, 2017) and Google Scholar (Google, 2017) for
journals in the SCI category “geological engineering” and SCI category “multidisciplinary
geosciences”. Furthermore, I examined the journal’s internationality in publishing articles using
data on the domicile (country, institution) of authors and classification of articles published in

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Landslides.

Material and Methods

Categories of Articles in Landslides


The journal Landslides publishes articles in four major categories (Sassa and Arbanas, 2017):
1) Original papers: original research and investigation results
2) Recent Landslides: reports of recent landslides.
3) Technical Note: research notes, reviews notes, case studies, progress of technology, and best
practice in monitoring, testing, investigation and mitigation measures.
4) ICL/IPL Activities: Progress of IPL projects and ICL Committee activities.
In this paper, all other published documents in Landslides were associated to the category “Other
items”, including editorials, prefaces, discussions and replies, book reviews and other news items.
Review papers were treated separately, as they are titled differently in Landslides from Original
papers.

Journal metrics
The idea of an Impact Factor (IF) was introduced in 1951 by Eugen Garfield (Garfield, 1955), and
it has received support and criticism ever since (Garfield, 2006). Today, the quality of a journal
can be measured by numerous bibliometric parameters: impact factor (IF), 5-year impact factor,
number of highly-cited papers, cited half-life, citing half-life, journal h-index, etc. Many more
indices have been proposed, for a recent overview see Lando and Bertoli-Barsotti (2014).
The main databases now used for journal bibliometric analyses are the Web of Science (WoS)
by Clarivate Analytics, and Elsevier’s Scopus database. Recently, Google Scholar is frequently
used, especially as it is free of charge and it yields higher bibliometric values due to its wide
coverage of literature and documents. Therefore, when evaluating a journal for its reputation, it
would be an advantage and less biased to use several databases and several journal metrics.
Harzing and Alankagas (2016) studied Google Scholar, Scopus and WoS for a longitudinal and
cross-disciplinary comparison and concluded that all three databases offer consistent and
reasonably stable quarterly growth for both publications and citations.

Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Knowledge (WoK)


Web of Knowledge (Clarivate Analytics, 2017) offers several web tools for bibliometric research.
Journal Citation Reports (JCRs) annually show Journal Impact Factors (JIF) that are calculated
by dividing the number of current year citations from all journals in the WoS to the source items
published in that journal during the previous two years. The journal Landslides is indexed in
WoS in the SCI-Expanded categories: EG – Engineering, Geological (35 journals in 2016), and
GM – Geosciences, Multidisciplinary (184 journals in 2016).

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The WoS Core Collection covers peer-reviewed journals, dividing publication citations into
several indices:
− Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-Exp),
− Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), and
− Arts & Humanities Citation Index (AHCI).
Recently, Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) was introduced to WoS Core Collection to
include high-quality, peer-reviewed publications of regional importance and in emerging
scientific fields. To extend the coverage of international literature to other types of documents
WoS Core Collection now also covers Book Citation Index-Science (BKCI-S), Book Citation Index
– Social Sciences & Humanities (BKCI-SSN), Conference Proceedings Citation Index - Science
(CPCI-S), and Conference Proceedings Citation Index - Social Science & Humanities (CPCI-SSH).
It is clear from this development that a journal impact factor may rise annually not only
because a journal reputation and impact is increasing but also because WoS database is
expanding, covering more and more literature and therefore finding more and more citations to
already published articles in journals. Furthermore, increasing the average number of references
in published and citable items in WoS journals will increase the average impact factors. These
facts should be kept in mind when analyzing a journal’s reputation.
Essential Science Indicators (https://esi.incites.thomsonreuters.com/IndicatorsAction.action)
as a part of WoK offer analysis of top research output and is based on WoS journal article
publication counts and citation data. We can get WoS data on the number of documents, the
number of citations and cites per paper and the number of highly cited papers for authors,
institutions, journals, and countries/territories, as well as for 22 research fields.

Elsevier Scopus database


Developing its own Scopus database, Elsevier offers different journal metrics, such as (Elsevier,
2017):
− SJR - SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) takes into account both the number of citations received
by a journal and the prestige of the journal based on where those citations come from.
− SNIP - Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) measures contextual citation impact by
weighting citations based on the total number of citations in a subject field. It helps to
compare a journal with competing journals in a subject area.
− IPP - The Impact per Publication (IPP) is based on citations in one year to articles, reviews,
and conference papers published in the preceding three years, divided by the number of
articles, reviews, and conference papers published in those three years.
New as of December 2016, the metric called CiteScore measures average citations received per
document published in the serial – citations are taken into account that have been received in a
given year for the documents published in the previous 3 years (note that a 2-year window is
used for the ISI IF computation). A 3-year publication window is long enough to capture the

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citation peak of the majority of disciplines covered by Scopus. The new Scopus journal metric
CiteScore could be a significant rival to the Journal Impact Factor (Van Noorden, 2016). There
are differences between IF and CiteScore rankings of journals. Bergstrom and West (2017) made
an analysis of the mean change in journal rank for all publishers who publish at least 30 journals
listed in both the JCR and Scopus.
It is also important that Scopus is a large database that covers more journals than WoS uses
to compute IF. Scopus includes sources beyond journals such as books and conference proceedings
(WoS covers these items by Book Citation Indices and Conference Proceedings Indices). CiteScore
includes different document types from journals, not only research papers and review papers,
but also editorials, prefaces, letters to the editor, corrections, news, and similar. CiteScore Rank
indicates the rank position of the title in its subject area; therefore, it is very important for a
journal to be properly classified into a journal category. Namely, across the various scientific
domains, significant differences occur with respect to research publishing formats, frequencies
and citing practices, the nature and organization of research and the number and impact of a
given domain’s academic journals. Cerovšek and Mikoš (2014) studied the relationships among
citations, most-cited papers and h-indices across domains (Field of Science), confirming before
the previously mentioned differences in citing practices.
Landslides is indexed in Scopus in the area of Physical Sciences, under Earth and Planetary
Sciences subject area (including 1309 journals in 2016), and in the sub-subject area “Geotechnical
Engineering and Engineering Geology” (including 167 journals in 2016).

Results and Discussion

Impact and ranking of Landslides.


Landslides started in 2004 with 4 issues per volume and 1 volume per year, and was expanded
to 6 issues per year in 2013 (bimonthly journal) – another expansion to 12 issues per volume is
planned for 2018 (monthly journal). The number of pages annually published increased from 305
pages in 2004 to over 1500 pages in 2016, and the number of annually published documents
increased from 37 items in 2004 to 121 items in 2016. The number of annual web downloads in
SpringerLink increased from about 15,000 a year to over 60,000 a year in 2016, and the number
of cited references in published articles increased from starting about 1000 references a year to
6145 references in 2016.

Table 1 Basic bibliometric parameters of Landslides in the period 2004 – 2016, using WoS (Clarivate
Analytics, 2017) and Scopus (Elsevier, 2017) data

The journal exhibits a steady growth in two most important WoS-related journal parameters
(Table 1 upper part): citable items in WoS (from 30 to 111 items), and the total number of citations

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(over 2000 in 2016). The only troublesome year in this steady growth was 2008, when only 21
research papers were published.
Looking at the WoS citations Landslides received during this period 2004-2016 expressed by
the Journal Impact Factor (JIF), the first IF was assigned in 2007. The fluctuations in IF and
5­year IF observed in the period 2007-2012 can be ascribed to changes in self-citation rates of the
journal (Fig. 1). The Pearson coefficients between IF and IF without Self Cites is 99.47% (2007-
2016, n=10), between IF and 5-year IF 89.92% (2009-2016, n=8), between IF and the average of
the Self-Cites used for IF of the two previous years 67.07% (2009-2016, n=8), and between 5-year
IF and the average of the Self-Cites used for IF of the two previous years -44.80% (2009-2016,
n=8). Fewer self-citations means higher journal IF.
Looking at IF without self-citations, from 2009 on the journal exhibits a steady increase. In
this period the journal established itself as one of the leading journals in the SCI-Expanded
category “Engineering, geological”, and as a member of Q1 journals in the SCI-Expanded
category of “Geological Sciences, multidisciplinary”.

Fig. 1 Selected journal metrics and self-citation rates for Landslides in the period 2007-2016

The journal also exhibits a steady growth in two important Scopus-related journal parameters
(Table 1 lower part): source documents in Scopus (from 37 to 151 items), and the total number of
cites (over 2600 in 2016).
Elsevier offers several journal metrics (https://journalmetrics.scopus.com/); looking at SNIP
the journal achieved Q1 and was close to the top 10% in the Scopus category “Geotechnical
Engineering and Engineering Geology”. The same is true looking at Scimago Journal Rank (SJR)
values in this period. The newly introduced Cite Score is even more in favor of the journal,
ranking it into top 10% in this category since 2011, and ranking it #1 in 2013 and again in 2016.
I compared WoS and Scopus journal metrics in Fig. 1.
According to Rousseau (1999), higher self-citing rate indicates more isolation in the relevant
field covered by the journal, and higher self-cited rate indicates a journal’s lower visibility. Krauss
(2007) studied journal self-citation rates in ecological sciences and found that the self-citation
rates decrease with increasing journal impact. Chorus and Waltman (2016) studied three decades
of citation data from across fields of science with regard to trends in journal impact factor biased
self-citations of scholar journals. They found that many journals exhibit a relatively high share
of its own self-citations to papers published in the journal in the last two years – thus
disproportionally affecting its own impact factor. Looking at the Landslides data (Fig. 1), one
may conclude that the self-citation rates of this journal is decreasing (a negative trend for itself
that has positive implications) as its impact factor is increasing. Having in mind that the topic
of Landslides is to a certain level rather “limited” or focused on landslides, the average self-
citation rates (i.e. 16.3% in total – 389 self-cites out of total 2388 cites) is higher than the average

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of the competing journals in the same subject area (using JCR data): Geotechnique (462 / 9929 =
4.7%), Canadian Geotechnical Journal (596 / 7876 = 7.6%), Earthquake Engineering & Structural
Dynamics (592 / 7129 = 8.3%). International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences
(1.038 / 12.237 = 8.5%), Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering (789 / 8453
= 9.3%), Engineering Geology (1.053 / 9.861 = 10.5%), Geomorphology (2.164 / 17.660 = 12.3%),
Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering (917 / 3.830 = 23.9%), Geotextiles and Geomembranes
(645 / 2.620 = 24.6%).

Table 2 Comparison between the top 20 journals in 2016 from the SCI-Expanded category of
“Engineering, geological” (Clarivate Analytics, 2017) and their ranking in CiteScore metrics
(Elsevier, 2017) in the category “Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology” (top five
ranks for each metric are given in bold and in grey color).

A new multidimensional, user-driven approach to international ranking of higher education


institutions called U-Multirank (2017) was released online on May 13, 2014. By mid 2017, it
covers some 1.500 universities. It takes a different approach to existing global rankings of
universities; it is multi-dimensional and does not produce a league table of the world’s “top” 100
universities based on composite scores. A similar approach is needed to compare scientific
journals.
In this regard, a combination of selected size-dependent (e.g. total citations, eigenfactor) and
size-independent journal metrics (e.g. CiteScore) respectively weighted (e.g. SJR) and
unweighted journal metrics (e.g. 5-year IF, SNIP) is possible, as suggested by Walters (2017) in
order to assess subjective journal rating with regard to popularity and prestige. Noteworthy is
the 100% satisfaction rate with publishing in Landslides, according to the journal’s web page
(Springer, 2017).
I performed a cross comparison of the WoS, Scopus and Google Scholar databases for the top
20 journals from the SCI category of “Engineering, geological” (Table 2). For this selection of
journals, I compared 11 different journal metrics: journal IF 2016, number of published Highly
Cited Papers ever, Cited Half-Life in years of published references, 2016 CiteScore, 2016 SNIP,
2016 SJR, WoS h-index, Scopus h-index, Google Scholar h5-index, Google Scholar h5-median,
and WoS cites/paper. The best 5 ranks in each of the afore mentioned journal metrics provide
points to the journals (rank #1 gives 5 points, rank #2 gives 4 points, and so on), the maximum
possible being 55 points (#1 in all 11 metrics). By such a truncated multirank system, the
multiranking of selected top 20 journals from SCI category “Engineering, geological” turns into:
#1 Geotechnique (28 points), #2 Engineering Geology (21 points), #3 Journal of Geotechnical and
Geoenvironmental Engineering (19 points), #4 International Journal of Rock Mechanics and
Mining Sciences (18 points), #5 Landslides (16 points), #6 Earthquake Engineering & Structural
Dynamics (15 points), #7Geotextiles and Geomembranes (13 points), #8 Earthquake Spectra (11

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points) & Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering (11 points), #10 Canadian Geotechnical Journal
(8 points), #11 Computers and Geotechnics (4 points), #12 Acta Geotechnica (1 point), rest of
journals (0 points). This comparison shows that effectively, looking at different bibliometric
aspects of these journals, the differences between them are minor.

Inter-relationships among journals in Engineering geology and Geotechnical engineering.


The Scopus SNIP metric measures contextual citation impact by weighting citations based on
the total number of citations in a subject field. It helps to compare a journal with competing
journals in the same subject area. I compared SNIP metrics to WoS IF data for the journal in the
period 2004-2016. In Table 3, the top 10 cited and top 10 citing journals are presented with regard
to the number of citations in this period given and received by Landslides.

Table 3 Cited and Citing Journal Data from Web of Science for Landslides in 2004-2016 – data
are presented for a joint list of top 10 cited and citing journals.

The distribution of citations (Cited Journal data) shows that Landslides is citing more journals
from the category “Geosciences, multidisciplinary” than from the category “Engineering,
geological”, and receives (Citing Journal data) reasonable citations from engineering journals,
such as Engineering Geology, Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Bulletin of Engineering Geology
and the Environment, and Geotechnique. In this regard, SNIP values seems to confirm the
relatively better integration of Landslides with the “science” journals in the category
“Geosciences, multidisciplinary” than with the “engineering” journals in the category
“Engineering, geological”. CiteScore in 2016 and rank #1 nevertheless show that Landslide
articles are not only cited in journals, but elsewhere, based on what is covered by CiteScore. The
high Landslides ranking in WoS category EG may be its good interrelations with journals in WoS
category GM. The “true” impact value of Landslides may be better estimated by its ranking in
the GM category than in the EG category.
The best interrelation of Landslides is with the following journals: citing papers from
Environmental Earth Sciences, Geomorphology, Engineering Geology, Natural Hazards, and
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, and receiving citations from Geomorphology,
Engineering Geology, Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, Natural Hazards, and
Canadian Geotechnical Journal. The majority of these journals are not in the category
“Engineering, geological” (EG), but rather in the category “Geosciences, multidisciplinary” (GM).

Highly-cited papers
Number of highly cited papers published in a journal is an important measure of its impact since
researchers as well as research and academic institutions (universities) are evaluated and put
into international rankings using different parameters, including highly-cited papers. According

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to Waltman et al. (2012) the number of class 10 per cent papers is the most important impact
indicator for the ranking of universities by research performance. Based on data gathered from
Scopus, Bornmann et al. (2014) found out that field-specific excellence could be identified in
institutions where highly-cited papers have been published frequently. Rodriguez-Navarro (2012)
argues that scientific progress is driven by important scientific breakthroughs that are
infrequent, and that highly cited papers and not the total number of published papers reveal a
difference to the contribution of universities to the progress of science and provide quantifiable
justification for the large investments in research made by elite research universities. Dorn
(2002) analyzed geomorphology articles published in the last quarter of the 20th century that
were cited 20 or more times in Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) indices, as of 15 May 2001
and found 328 such articles. Altogether, over 90 SCI journals published in this period well-cited
geomorphology papers, but Earth Surface Processes and Landforms hosted the largest number
of well-cited papers.
Using WoK web tool Essential Science Indicators, the annualized expected citation rates for
papers in three selected research fields for all years (average) are as follows: for Engineering 6.82
cites/paper, for Geosciences 11.34 cites/paper, and for Multidisciplinary 13.29 cites/paper. For
Landslides, there are 613 documents in the database with 5608 cites, yielding 9.15 cites/paper.
For a published paper to come to the top 1% of papers with regard to the obtained number of
citations, and be called a High Cited Paper, the threshold for research fields and years of
publication are as follows (as of July 1, 2017): Engineering (2007 – 110, 2016 – 7), Geosciences
(2007 – 166, 2016 – 8), and Multidisciplinary (2007 – 488, 2016 – 10). The differences between
research fields are increasing by years. Analyzing Landslides in the period 2004-2016, WoS
reveals 10 Highly Cited Papers, given in Table 4.

Table 4 Highly Cited Papers from Landslides published in the period 2004 - 2016.

Journal impact and the number of cited references


Journal Impact Factor is determined using cited references in all journals screened by WoS. An
increase in a journal’s impact factor is a combined effect of a higher journal quality measured by
its citation record due to a higher visibility, but also due to rising average number of references
in all journals’ articles in the database if this number overtakes the increasing number of
published articles in journals. Since the WoS database is continuously expanding its coverage
(adding new journals) plus the journals covered already by the database are publishing more
articles (with more references) that immediately give more citations to previously published
articles, thus increasing journals’ impact factors. Therefore, I analyzed the average number of
references per published article in three main article categories in Landslides: for Original papers
(Fig. 2), Recent landslides (Fig. 3), and Technical notes (Fig. 4). I present the distribution of the
number of references per article for all volumes of Landslides (left hand side on Figs. 2 to 4), and

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then also the normalized number of references by dividing the total number of references by the
total number of published articles of this category in each year. For the category Technical notes,
before 2009 (Vol. 6) there were not enough articles published in this category to present
meaningful data. The total number of references per published article increases for all three
article’s categories. Taking into account the rising number of published articles that must receive
citations in the next two years after the publication in order to maintain a journal’s impact factor,
the normalized number of references shows a decreasing trend in two categories: Original papers
and Technical notes. Due to the fluctuating number of published articles in the category Recent
landslides, there is no clear trend for this category.

Fig. 2 Distribution of the number of references per article (left) and the normalized number of
references by the total number of published articles (right) for 487 published Original papers in
Landslides.

Fig. 3 Distribution of the number of references per article (left) and the normalized number of
references by the total number of published articles (right) for 95 published Recent landslides
papers in Landslides.

Fig. 4 Distribution of the number of references per article (left) and the normalized number of
references by the total number of published articles (right) for 70 published Technical notes
papers in Landslides.

International cooperation as seen through multi-authorship of published articles in Landslides


Sassa et al. (2009) analyzed for the first 5-year period (2004-2009) of Landslides the number of
individual authors from each country, counting them only once, regardless of the number of
published papers, and each coauthor other than the first/corresponding author was counted as
one. The number of authors found to be the greatest from Italy, then, China, Japan, the United
States, Canada, India and Spain are following.
I looked at the period of 13 years (2004-2016) and analyzed the distribution of the number of
authors per Landslide article category. The highest median number of authors (5) is for the
category Recent landslides, followed by 4 authors for the category Original papers, 3 authors for
the category Technical note, and 1 author for the category ICL/IPL Activities. Differences
between categories are not very profound except for the category ICL/IPL Activities (Fig. 5),
where close to 50% of the articles are single-author contributions. The multi-authorship “winning”
article is a technical note about fatal landslides in Europe by Haque et al. (2016) with 22 authors
coming from 18 different countries.
Furthermore, I looked at the period of 13 years (2004-2013) and have analyzed the distribution
of the number of countries from which co-authors are coming, per Landslide article category. The

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majority of articles are published by author(s) coming from the same country (over 60% for all
article categories in Landslides), the leading category is the Technical note category with 75%
(Fig. 6).

Fig. 5 Relative distribution of the number of authors given for 4 major article categories in
Landslides.

Fig. 6 Relative distribution of the number of countries of authors given for 4 major article
categories in Landslides.

Altogether, as of July 1, 2017, in WoS 25 documents were assigned to Landslides - 767 articles,
37 editorial materials, 12 corrections, 8 reviews, 1 news item. The authors of published
documents came from 73 countries, the rank order is (i.e. countries with more than 10 records):
People’s Republic of China (171), Italy (164), Japan (125), USA (74), Canada (54), Switzerland
(52), Spain (46), England (38), France (30), Taiwan (26), Norway (26), Czech Republic (26), New
Zealand (25), India (23), Germany (22), Netherlands (17), South Korea (15), Australia (15),
Greece (14), Slovenia (13), Russia (12), Iran (12), and Austria (11).
Looking at the authors’ institution, the top 20 institutions with more than 10 published articles
in Landslides in the period 2004-2016 (Table 5) are: 5 from China (# 2, 3, 6, 7 & 9), 4 from Italy
(# 4, 5, 12 & 19), 3 from Japan (# 1, 11 & 15), 2 from Czech Republic (# 12 & 15), and 1 from USA
(# 7), France (# 9), New Zealand (# 12), Switzerland (# 17), Spain (# 18), and Norway (# 20). The
5 leading institutions are: University of Kyoto (home academic institution of the International
Consortium on Landslides – ICL), Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), Chengdu University of
Technology, University of Florence, and Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) – confirming
the leadership of three countries with regard to Landslides publication productivity: China,
Japan and Italy.

Conclusions

I analyzed all articles published in the first 13 years of the SCI journal Landslides and using
WoS, Scopus, and Google Scholar database, we can draw the following conclusions:
− Landslides was founded in 2004, got his first impact factor in 2007, and soon rose to Q1 among
journals in several categories: SCI-Expanded “Engineering, Geological”, SCI-Expanded
“Geosciences, Multidisciplinary”, and Scopus “Geological Engineering and Engineering
Geology”.
− The journal has come close to other established and mature journals in the field of geological
/ geotechnical engineering and engineering geology, such as Geotechnique (since 1949), ASCE
Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering (since 1956), Canadian

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Geotechnical Journal (since 1963), International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining
Sciences (since 1964), Engineering Geology (since 1965), Earthquake Engineering &
Structural Dynamics (since 1972). All these journals are several decades older than
Landslides and therefore exhibit mature values in WoS and Scopus h-index close to or over
100, over 15 cites per paper, cited half-life over 10 years, and rank in their respective SCI and
Scopus journal category in the top 10. These established journals exhibit less highly cited
papers (Engineering Geology published 7 highly cited papers) in comparison to Landslides
with 10 highly cited papers.
− Thus, after an extensive analysis using different journal metrics, I may conclude that
Landslides has steadily increased its visibility since its release in 2004, and is today the
leading international journal dealing with all aspects of landslide risk and disaster reduction.
− I also conclude that Landslides is the top international journal under 20 years old in the
research field of geological engineering and engineering geology.
− Landslides should stay with its very strict editorial policy (acceptance rate around 40%),
should try to publish a few invited review papers per year, as well as focused technical notes
on state-of-the art in monitoring, simulation and technology for effective landslide risk
reduction. The journal may attract more articles from its own regional and thematic networks
to raise the international co-authorship of original papers and technical notes.
− Landslides still lacks higher multilateral authorships of published articles that would be
expected from the wide international membership in the International Consortium on
Landslides (http://icl.iplhq.org/category/icl/members-and-supporters/). The only journal
category with an authorship of a more than two countries now is the category of Technical
Notes. Especially Regional but also Thematic Networks of ICL
(http://icl.iplhq.org/category/icl/icl-networks/) should play a more visible role in publishing
policy of the journal by contributing more articles, not only to the category of ICL/IPL
Activities, but especially to Original papers and to Technical notes.

Matjaž Mikoš
Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering,
University of Ljubljana,
Jamova cesta 2, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
e-mail: matjaz.mikos@fgg.uni-lj.si

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14
Self Cites (%) Self Cites used for IF (%)
IF IF without Self Cites
CiteScore SJR
SNIP Linear (Self Cites used for IF (%))
100% 4.000

90%
3.500
80%
3.000
70%
2.500

Journal metric
60%
Self-citation rate

50% 2.000

40%
1.500
30%
1.000
20%
0.500
10%

0% 0.000
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Landslides volume

Fig. 1 Selected journal metrics and self-citation rates for Landslides in the period 2007-2016
Fig. 2 Distribution of the number of references per article (left) and the normalized number of
references (right) for 487 published Original papers in Landslides.

Fig. 3 Distribution of the number of references per article (left) and the normalized number of
references (right) for 95 published Recent landslides papers in Landslides.
Fig. 4 Distribution of the number of references per article (left) and the normalized number of
references (right) for 70 published Technical notes papers in Landslides.
Fig. 5 Relative distribution of the number of authors given for 4 major article categories in
Landslides.

Fig. 6 Relative distribution of the number of countries of authors given for 4 major article
categories in Landslides.
Table 1 Basic bibliometric parameters of Landslides in the period 2004 – 2016, using WoS (Clarivate Analytics, 2017) and Scopus (Elsevier, 2017) data
JCR year 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

Landslide volume 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Issues per volume 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 6 6 6 6

Number of pages published 305 352 358 381 440 355 485 534 544 819 1119 1203 1538
Published articles type: 25-11-7-4-2 25-11-5-3-3 39-8-11-9-1 65-7-8-5-1 55-15-14-9-5 86-7-16-4-8
26-4-0-4-3 28-7-1-2-3 30-4-0-1-6 30-5-0-1-1 35-3-1-1-2 21-6-5-1-7 28-7-4-6-6
OP-RL-TN-ICL/IPL-Other items
Published items (articles) 37 41 41 37 42 40 51 49 47 68 86 98 121

WoS Citable items 30 36 34 35 39 33 41 45 41 59 85 90 111

Number of References - - - 1081 1152 867 1247 1415 1424 2336 4078 3762 6145

SpringerLink cites 705 836 641 891 837 903 1072 606 734 710 779 194 368

SpringerLink downloads (in 1000) 16.4 16.4 14.5 16.3 19.2 20.0 28.0 20.9 32.2 51.7 69.9 62.7 62.9

WoS Total cites - - - 155 231 460 461 535 760 1067 1310 1839 2388

WoS Cites used for IF - - - 69 52 126 117 164 180 242 287 439 640

Impact Factor - - - 0.986 0.754 1.703 1.625 2.216 2.093 2.814 2.870 3.049 3.657

WoS Self Cites - - - 19.4% 13.9% 27.4% 11.9% 16.6% 10.5% 11.7% 16.7% 14.9% 16.3%

WoS Self Cites used for IF - - - 26.1% 15.4% 23.8% 9.4% 23.2% 14.4% 17.8% 15.3% 16.4% 14.7%

IF without self-citations - - - 0.728 0.637 1.297 1.472 1.702 1.790 2.313 2.430 2.548 3.120

5y Impact Factor - - - - - 2.374 1.938 1.841 2.358 3.045 3.205 3.616 3.684

Immediacy Index - - - 0.057 0.154 0.364 0.220 0.289 0.512 0.407 0.329 0.456 0.486

Rank in EG -/20 -/21 -/22 6/26 12/25 3/27 5/30 1/30 2/32 1/33 1/32 1/35 1/35

Rank in GM -/128 -/129 -/131 76/137 109/144 51/155 65/167 38/170 56/172 31/174 30/175 32/184 23/184

Scopus Source documents 37 39 74 37 40 38 50 47 47 65 99 86 151

Scopus Total cites - 69 113 193 240 519 533 731 887 1610 1725 1984 2623

Scopus Percent Not Cited by year 8.11% 10.26% 6.76% 8.11% 2.50% 7.89% 8.00% 4.26% 4.26% 9.23% 10.10% 18.60% 53.64%

2.15 (14/133) 2.22 (6/142) 3.40 (1/148) 2.53 (7/160) 2.83 3.57
Scopus CiteScore (rank) - - - - - - -
(6/167) (1/167)

1.818 1.856 1.839 1.586 1.678 2.009


Scopus SNIP (rank) - 0.993 1.447 1.051 0.973 1.208 1.359
(18/133) (17/142) (20/148) (28/160) (21/167) (14/167)

1.532 1.309 1.789 1.195 1.541 1.387


Scopus SJR (rank) - 0.613 0.741 0.713 0.823 1.354 1.114
(14/133) (16/142) (13/148) (25/160) (18/167) (21/167)

Legend: OP – Original paper (including review papers); RL – Recent landslides; TN – Technical note; ICP/IPL – ICL/IPL Activities; Other items – editorials, prefaces, discussions & replies, book reviews, errata;
EG – Engineering, Geological (SCI-Expanded category); GM – Geosciences, Multidisciplinary (SCI-Expanded category); SJR – Scimago Journal Rank & SNIP - Source Normalized Impact per Paper – both
computed on June 27, 2017
Table 2 Comparison between the top 20 journals in 2016 from the SCI-Expanded category of “Engineering, Geological” (Clarivate Analytics, 2017) and
their ranking in CiteScore metrics (Elsevier, 2017) in the category “Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology” (top five ranks for each metric
are given in bold and in grey color).

Issues Highly Cited CiteScore SNIP SJR WoS Scopus Google Google WoS
EG Journal Title IF
per year Publisher Cited Half-Life (rank/167) (rank/167) (rank/167) h-index h-index Scholar Scholar Cites/paper
Rank. (starting year) 2016
h5-index h5-median

1. Landslides (2004) 6 Springer Nature 3.657 10 5.7 3.57 (#1) 2.009 1.387 44 50 32 49 12.14

2. Earthquake Spectra (1984) 4 Earthquake Eng Res. 2.981 15 9.0 2.71 (#15) 2.045 1.878 50 69 32 49 12.66

3. Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering (1969) 6 Springer Nature 2.905 1 5.3 3.32 (#5) 2.189 2.059 (#7) 48 52 35 54 9.10

4. Geotextiles and Geomembranes (1984) 6 Elsevier 2.870 0 7.7 3.41 (#3) 2.552 (#3) 2.517 (#3) 48 58 28 39 12.30

5. Acta Geotechnica (2006) 6 Springer Nature 2.801 0 3.3 3.08 (#10) 2.201 1.836 24 27 24 32 6.72

6. Geosynthetics International (1994) 6 ICE Publishing 2.603 0 8.2 2.38 (#22) 1.467 1.806 32 40 20 23 8.99

7. Engineering Geology (1965) 16 Elsevier 2.569 7 8.7 3.35 (#4) 2.353 (#7) 1.913 86 94 40 50 15.17
Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental 3 > 10.0 2.36 (#24) 2.452 (#4) 2.695 (#2) 81 109 39 48 13.15
8. 12 ASCE 2.464
Engineering (1983/1974/1956)

9. Geotechnique (1949) 12 ICE Publishing 2.395 3 > 10.0 3.22 (#6) 2.927 (#2) 3.489 (#1) 122 98 36 45 25.04

10. Computers and Geotechnics (1985) 10 Elsevier 2.358 5 6.0 3.11 (#9) 2.371 (#6) 2.012 (#8) 55 67 34 46 11.11
International Journal for Numerical and 0 9.6 2.64 (#17) 1.839 1.643 74 66 30 43 14.49
11. 18 Wiley-Blackwell 2.342
Analytical Methods in Geomechanics (1977) (#19) (#17)
International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Pergamon-Elsevier 0 > 10.0 3.19 (#7) 2.158 1.920 97 104 39 46 19.30
12. 10 2.268
Mining Sciences (1964) Science (#12) (#11)

13. Canadian Geotechnical Journal (1963) 12 NRC Research press 2.138 4 > 10.0 2.20 (#27) 1.927 1.977 (#9) 94 86 29 35 14.68

14. International Journal of Geomechanics (2001) 6 ASCE 2.136 1 5.2 1.87 1.976 (#6)§ 1.413 21 39 24 29 3.50
Earthquake Engineering & Structural 0 > 10.0 2.91 (#13) 2.265 (#9) 2.293 (#6) 93 92 38 49 19.84
15. 15 Wiley-Blackwell 1.974
Dynamics (1972)

Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the 3 7.3 1.64 (#40) 1.263 0.715 28 40 20 25 5.67
16. 4 Springer Nature 1.901
Environment (1970) (#37) (#50)

17. Bulletin Of Earthquake Engineering (2003) 12 Springer Nature 1.899 0 4.6 2.12 (#30) 1.330 1.345 35 38 32 41 7.51

Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 0 7.4 2.03 (#31) 1.798 1.485 53 65 30 37 10.61
18. 12 Elsevier 1.545
(1982) (#20) (#19)
19. Geotechnique Letters (2011) 4 ICE Publishing 1.286 0 3.1 1.77 (#36) 1.300 1.150 13 15 17 23 3.67

20. Marine Georesources & Geotechnology (1993) 8 Taylor & Francis 1.159 0 6.2 1.00 (#61) 0.904 0.488 18 20 10 22 3.42

Cited Half-Life (years) - Median age of the articles that were cited in the JCR year. Half of a journal's cited articles were published more recently than the cited half-life.
§ Part of subject area Agricultural and Biological Sciences, category Soil Science (ASJC = 1100) with 103 journals.
Table 3 Cited and Citing Journal Data from Web of Science for Landslides in 2004-2016 – data
are presented for a joint list of top 10 cited and citing journals.

journal EG GM Cited Journal data Citing Journal data


Landslides x x 389 389
Environmental Earth Science - x 185 112
(formerly Environmental Geology)
Geomorphology - x 132 316
Engineering Geology x x 129 304
Natural Hazards - x 113 179
Natural Hazards and Earth - x 65 189
System Sciences
Geomatics Natural Hazards & - x 60 5
Risks
Arabian Journal of Geosciences - x 50 18
Journal of Mountain Science - - 50 33
CATENA - x 49 17
Canadian Geotechnical Journal x x 9 115
Bulletin of Engineering Geology x x 41 79
and the Environment
Earth Surface Processes and - x 16 72
Landforms
Geotechnique x - 13 71
All other journals 1087 4264
All journals 2388 6163
Landslides (389 citations – self-citation rate = 389/2388 = 0.163 or 16.3%)
Table 4 Highly Cited papers from Landslides published in the period 2004 - 2016.

No. Title of Article WoS ESI References Reference


Citations Citations
1. A rigorous finite volume model to simulate 5 3 98 Yavari-Ramshe &
subaerial and submarine landslide-generated Ataie-Ashtiani
waves (2017)
2. Enhancement of random finite element method 11 10 45 Li et al. (2016)
in reliability analysis and risk assessment of
soil slopes using Subset Simulation
3. Spatial prediction models for shallow landslide 20 12 111 Bui et al. (2016)
hazards: a comparative assessment of the
efficacy of support vector machines, artificial
neural networks, kernel logistic regression, and
logistic model tree
4. Three (nearly) complete inventories of 57 47 97 Xu et al. (2014)
landslides triggered by the May 12, 2008
Wenchuan Mw 7.9 earthquake of China and
their spatial distribution statistical analysis
5. The Varnes classification of landslide types, an 142 101 162 Hungr et al. (2014)
update
6. A comparison of landslide susceptibility maps 103 95 83 Akgun (2012)
produced by logistic regression, multi-criteria
decision, and likelihood ratio methods: a case
study at Izmir, Turkey
7. Regional landslide susceptibility analysis using 129 116 80 Pradhan & Lee
back-propagation neural network model at (2010)
Cameron Highland, Malaysia
8. Landslide hazards triggered by the 2008 176 151 4 Yin et al. (2009)
Wenchuan earthquake, Sichuan, China
9. The rainfall intensity-duration control of 312 261 40 Guzzetti et al.
shallow landslides and debris flows: an update 2008)
10. Landslide hazard mapping at Selangor, 232 207 33 Lee & Pradhan
Malaysia using frequency ratio and logistic (2007)
regression models
Highly Cited Papers received enough citations as of January/February 2017 to place them in the top 1% of their
academic fields based on a highly cited threshold for the field and publication year.
WoS – Web of Science (as of June 30, 2017).
ESI - InCites Essential Science Indicators (as of June 30, 2017).
Table 5 Top 20 institutions with more than 10 articles published in co-authorship in Landslides
in 2004-2016.

Rank Institution Total h-index Average Sum of Without Citing Without


publications citations Times self articles self
per item Cited citations citations
1 U Kyoto, Japan 62 18 17.85 1090 1042 845 816
2 Chinese Academy of 42 9 8.64 363 352 340 330
Sciences, China
3 Chengdu U of Technology, 29 8 9.86 286 266 236 224
China
4 U of Florence, Italy 27 13 24.26 655 630 515 500
5 Consiglio Nazionale delle 21 8 21.33 448 442 434 429
Ricerche CNR, Italy
6 China Geological Survey, 20 9 23.55 471 452 379 367
China
7 US Geological Survey 19 10 26.26 497 492 444 440
USGS, USA
7 China U of Geosciences, 19 5 4.53 86 78 75 69
China
9 Hong Kong U of Science & 18 5 7.44 134 128 115 109
Technology, China
9 Centre National de la 18 8 11.33 204 193 191 184
Recherche Scientifique
CNRS, France
11 ICL, Japan 15 6 9.07 136 119 116 108
12 Seconda U Degli Studii di 14 5 18.57 260 254 238 233
Napoli, Italy
12 GNS Science, New Zealand 14 7 10.36 145 135 122 118
12 Charles U Prague, Czech 14 4 5.14 72 57 60 51
Republic
15 U of Tokyo, Japan 13 8 10.59 139 137 132 130
15 Czech Academy of Sciences, 13 4 7.92 103 97 98 93
Czech Republic
17 U of Lausanne, Switzerland 12 5 5.50 66 63 60 58
18 Polytechnic U of Catalonia, 12 6 9.50 114 111 112 110
Spain
19 U of Naples Federico II, 11 4 10.64 117 113 105 102
Italy
20 Norwegian Geotechnical 11 8 31.73 349 349 320 320
Institute NGI, Norway