FOREWORDBut in science the credit goes tothe man who convinces the world,not to the man to whom the ideafirst occurs.Sir Francis Darwin
JOURNAL IMPACT FACTOR - (THOMSON REUTERS)Developed in the 60’s Eugene Garfield and Irving Sher To help select journals for theSCIJournal Citation Reports firstproduced in 1975
JOURNAL CITATION REPORTSThe JCR provides quantitative tools for ranking, evaluating, categorizing, andcomparing journals (Thomson Reuters)The Impact Factor is one of these toolsDerived using citation data in the Science Citation Index and the Social ScienceCitation IndexHelps determine a publication’s impact and influence in the global researchcommunity (Thomson Reuters)Widely accepted and used
THE IMPACT FACTORJournal Z IF 2011=All citations from Thomsons Reuters journals in 2011 to papers in journal ZNumber of citable articles published in journal Z in 2009 & 2010
THE IMPACT FACTORIntroduced in 1960’s by Eugene Garfield: ISI2009 and 20102011IF=5Articles published in 2009-2010were cited an average of 5 times in 2011.citations articles
HOW THE JIF SHOULD BE USEDWisely!Thomson doesn’t depend on it alone to assess the usefulness ofjournals so neither should anyone elseIt should be used with ‘informed peer review’ (lots of thingsinfluence citation rates)
THREE PROBLEMSNegotiableIrreproducibleNot mathematically sound
NEGOTIABLEPLoS Medicine, IF 2-11 (8.4)Current Biology IF from 7 to 11 in 2003 Bought by Cell press in 2001
NOT REPRODUCIBLERockefeller University Press buys their data from TRUp to 19% deviation from published recordsSecond dataset still not correct
NOT MATHEMATICALLY SOUNDLeft-skewed distributionsWeak correlation of individual article citation rate with journal IF
HOW IS ‘IMPACT’ MEASURED?“My article was publishedin a journal withan Impact Factor of 3.751”What the …?
SO, HOW COULD ‘IMPACT’ BE MEASURED?Where the work is published JournalRankCitations scholarly, hyperlinks, social bookmarksWeb usage Publisher platform; 3rd party locationsExpert ratings F1000; Peer Reviewers; Ed Boards etcCommunity rating & commenting Digging; Commenting; Rating etc
SO, HOW COULD ‘IMPACT’ BE MEASURED?Media/blog coverage Which sources are considered the most important?Policy development?Who published it? And where do they work? What did they publish before? How ‘impactful’ are they?Who is talking about it? And what authority do they have?Who is citing it ? And what authority do they have?
"NOT EVERYTHINGTHAT CAN BE COUNTED COUNTS,AND NOT EVERYTHINGTHAT COUNTS CAN BE COUNTED."Albert Einstein
CONCLUSIONSNo single ‘perfect’ JIFObjective tools have a role and can contribute to the evaluation of research qualitywhen used appropriately – must be aware of their limitations!More data sources available to rank journalsComplementary metrics (usage) should be used and studied furtherEvaluation: expert peer review complemented by appropriate journal ranking dataOngoing debate….