One of my friends has a lot of research works, but he is kinda of lazy in the publishing process. As a result, he has a lot of unpublished research materials. Right now, he is realized that he needs citation count to be able to get some benefits which I don't want to disclose here but I could just tell it's not academic benefit but it is heavily related to only citation count and not even the number of publications (ridiculous yeah? but sadly true!). Also, if he publishes those research materials under his own name and cite himself it will be counted as self-citation and again it is worthless to be qualified for that benefit. This matter leads him to publish his research works under the name of his other friends and in those papers he cite himself just for sake of citation count. The research materials are not questionable and in my opinion even they're remarkable. But he is reluctant to publish it under his own name because he thinks he will miss that benefit and he does not have such a long time to publish his researches under his own name and wait at least a couple of years to accumulate citation counts. This is a really complicated problem and I'm wondering is it a real research misconduct or not? More generally, it really hurts me that some good researchers will be judged solely based on some numbers like citation count, which leads people to these kind of activities. Any idea or suggestion is appreciated.
This does not sound ethical at all. I would say that both your friend and the people who are willing to take credit for his work are lying and misrepresenting their accomplishments.
Furthermore, what your friend is doing is extremely short-sighted. If the material in his publications is remarkable as you state, then he will gain far more citations in the long term by having his name on all of them, rather than trying to artificially inflate his citation count for short-term gains.
If I understand your post correctly, "Bob" writes a paper but names "Alice" as the author - with her permission. This is a clear misconduct, because Alice did not do the work attributed to her.
Alice might get in serious trouble when anyone figures out, for example if
- someone contacts her to ask more details or
- someone realizes that these papers do not fit to Alice's other publications (or even her education, if she is from a different field)
In the aftermath of these troubles, she will be in need to admit that she the actual work was done by Bob, thus, he will be in trouble as well.