I recently became the Editor-in-Chief for Cardiac Electrophysiology for an online access publishing company. I wanted to jump in by writing a general article to get my feet wet in their system. My topic actually reflects an accumulation of what I have done, learned, and practiced for the past 35 years. There were no references when I wrote the article but I knew many would be needed. The article contains about 6000 words and the Managing Editor told me that I would need about 20-30 references. He also said that I must use citations provided by or found in PubMed. They are partnered with PubMed. Finally, he said that at least 10 references must be from the past 10 years or the article would be summarily rejected.
Wanting to comply, I could honestly only come up with 16. Four were from the last 10 years but, given the topic "Evaluation of the Patient with Suspected Cardiac Arrhythmia", nothing has really changed in the last 10 years to make that requirement valid. I felt it was rather arbitrary. Then, I found that only 11 articles were even found in PubMed. Their citation software seems primitive in that it has no means of maintaining the proper order of the citation in the document if they don't have it or if you end up adding one in later.
I feel that my managing editor is being rather arbitrary and there is no one to provide guidance as to the workings of their system.
There is plenty of advice out there regarding "when to cite".
I have also noticed that many articles written for the company I work for or for another company known as Cureus contain citations that are absolutely irrelevant. It's as though they think tons of citations=good work!
My question is: what are the rules of the game when it comes to #citations and restricting citations to a specific timeframe (i.e. the last 10 years). And, does anyone know what citation software PubMed uses? Can't seem to reach anyone there.