Publishing with Environmental Science and Technology has been a positive experience, if you can believe that. They rapidly publish papers online prior to actual printing, and this has produced an interesting side note. What’s the proper citation? In the past, the citation was a reference to the work in publication. Hence “Raikow et al. (2009)” referred to the paper paper, the only form of the document. Indeed, that’s how I referred to my recent ES&T paper on resource sheds on my CV, which matters because I’ve been using it for job applications. In fact, I distributed some CV versions with the citation :

  1. “in press”
  2. “2009” (but without  a DOI or page numbers)
  3. “2009” (with a DOI but without page numbers)

Now the paper has a full citation: “Raikow, D. F., J. F. Atkinson, and T. E. Croley, 2010, Development of resource shed delineation in aquatic ecosystems. Environmental Science and Technology, 44:329-334, DOI: 10.1021/es900562t.” Catch that? 2010. Online it’s listed as having a “Publication Date (Web): December 21, 2009”, but the citation (I guess) should be listed as Raikow et al. (2010). It’s an interesting thing to note in this changing world of scientific publication, but there is a slight problem.

I’m revising a paper for Ecological Applications that makes reference to a paper recently accepted by ES&T. The submitted first  draft manuscript refers to the paper “in review”. I was going to send back the revision with the citation as 2009, with a DOI but no page numbers. If I had, and if it wasn’t caught in time (like during the proof stage), the reference would have been wrong. Now I suppose it will have to be 2010, but I might not know the page numbers in time to include them in the revision.

I suppose this is an uncommon occurence, and only happens at the changing of the year, but there is the potential for this kind of thing to screw up automatically generated citation statistics (e.g. the h-index, google scholar). A solution would be to  have the DOI become the salient portion of a citation.

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