The truth about Yong Sik Ok
How much is too much? Hyperprolific, Hypercitation or Hyperbole?
Prof Yong Sik OK from Korea university is a very famous professor in Korea.
OK promoted as 1st Korean Highly Cited Researcher in Environment & Ecology Highly Cited Researcher in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Prof. Ok maintains a worldwide professional network through his service as a Co-Editor-in-Chief for Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, as an Associate Editor for Environmental Pollution and Bioresource Technology, and as a Member of the Editorial Boards of Chemosphere, Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, and several other top journals.
Behind his widely fame, one would be amazed by Prof Yong Sik Ok ability to publish a scientific paper within 3 days and get highly cited in 2 weeks.
Prof. Yong Sik OK have published 100–120 papers a year continuously since 2017, and continually have 10–30 highly cited papers per year. This is with the help of his friend Jörg Rinklebe an associate and acts as editor for the papers by OK. Prof. Daniel Tsang is OK’s protege helps by being an active journal reviewers. Deyi Hou also an active collaborator.
Since 2017, Prof Yong Sik OK from Korea university has published more than 600 papers AND has 90 Highly cited papers with an impressive h index of 91. OK continuously publishes 96 to 120 papers per year. Each year Clarivate awards OK with12–29 new highly cited papers.
This means Prof OK wrote 3–4 papers per day and within 1–2 weeks he receives 1 highly cited paper. That is including weekend and holidays. An impressive but implausible achievement.
For this brilliant achievement, Clarivate has awarded Prof OK
Highly Cited Researcher in the field of Environment and Ecology — 2021
Highly Cited Researcher in the field of Engineering — 2021
Prof. Ok has written 431 papers on Elsevier journals. Elsevier publishes 80 papers per year written by OK. This article is written in December 2021 and OK already published 11 papers in 2022. OK is also editor of several Elsevier Journals.
One would ask what is the ethics of authors to keep producing papers in 2–3 days? Elsevier happy for an author to keep publishing papers once every 3 days and have high citations.
Shouldn’t this raise a big alarm and red light?
Can One write a paper in 2–3 days and get highly cited within 2 weeks?
In Nature, John Ioannidis, MD, DSc, called “hyperprolific” authors — as people who publish more than 72 research papers during a calendar year. Yong SIK OK publishes more than 100 research papers a year, that makes him a Super Hyperprolific Author.
Ioannidis is hoping that studying the authors who are extremely prolific may offer useful insight into evolving authorship norms — as well as norms affecting credit and responsibility — across science.
These massive numbers are surely curious, and raise questions about the motivations of these authors, as well as the system itself
OK currently has 90 highly cited papers. Compared to Nobel Laureate in medicine Pataputian A who only had 11 highly cited papers and h index of 71.
A new study found that “Close relationships between journal boards and most-published authors may explain speedy publishing times”. Nepotism helps.
OK’s papers in Journal of Hazardous Materials are frequently handeled by complicit Jörg Rinklebe.
Deyi Hou an active collaborator and editor of Soil Use and Management publishes reviews after reviews by OK.
A new research in Plos One writes:
Such “nepotistic journals,” suspected of biased editorial decision-making, could be deployed to game productivity-based metrics, which could have a serious knock-on effect on decisions about promotion, tenure and research funding.
This hyperprolific and hypercitation cannot be done with OK’s protégé and collaborator is Prof Daniel CW Tsang from Hong Kong. Daniel Tsang shared 166 papers with OK.
DCW TSANG last year produced 145 papers according to Clarivate. He writes a paper every 2.5 days, with no weekend and no holiday. Prof Tsang also a prolific reviewer for journals, reviewing 1 paper a day.
According to Clarivate, Prof Tsang also reviews 20–30 papers per month. For this he was awarded
- Top reviewers in Cross-Field — September 2019
- Top reviewers in Chemistry — September 2019
- Top reviewers in Biology and Biochemistry — September 2019
- Top handling editors — September 2019
- Top reviewers in Environment and Ecology — September 2019
- Top reviewers in Engineering — September 2019
Prof Tsang has a very busy schedule, writes a paper every 2 days, reviews 1 paper per day, and gets highly cited every 2 weeks.
I feel that we’ve just scratched the surface of a major issue. We will continue work in this field, trying to understand better the main drivers of this phenomenon, whether they are congruent with best science, and how one can maximize quality and allocate credit in a fair manner.
Author Dimotros Moros writes
hyperprolific academic behavior that is the resultant of multiple individual characteristics that can vary from extraordinary ability and teamwork to unjustified and unethical co-authorship. Editors, reviewers and readers should have high expectations from these authors in terms of research quality and ethos.