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Fear Factor and Impact Factor

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This presentation talks about the various measures of scientific publication such as impact factor, citation, etc.

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Fear Factor and Impact Factor

  1. 1. WRITING JOURNAL: FEAR FACTOR & IMPACT FACTOR Abd Karim Alias akarim@usm.my Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  2. 2. FEAR FACTOR? PUBLISH OR PERISH Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  3. 3. FEAR OF PUBLISHING? •Get rejected many times •Research not up to “standard” •Lack of scientific communication skill •Lack of confidence & encouragement •Poor planning Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  4. 4. TO GET PUBLISHED IS NOT EASY •Rejection rates can be as high as 60-70% •Criteria for publication are more stringent Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  5. 5. PUBLISH, NOT PERISH "How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper" by Robert A. Day "What I have said in this book is this: Scientific research is not complete until the results have been published.Therefore, a scientific paper is an essential part of the research process.Therefore, the writing of an accurate, understandable paper is just as important as the research itself.” Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  6. 6. PUBLISH, NOT PERISH "How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper" by Robert A. Day “…Therefore, the education of a scientist is not complete until the ability to publish has been established.” Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  7. 7. WHERETO PUBLISH? •National/regional journal? •International citation-indexed journal? •International citation-indexed journal with impact factor? Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  8. 8. SCIENTIFIC PERFORMANCE INDICATORS (METRICS) •Indexing of scientific literature started in 1950s by Eugene Garfield •“Citation indexes for science: A new dimension in documentation through association of ideas”, Science, 122, July 15, 1955: 108. Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  9. 9. SCIENTIFIC PERFORMANCE INDICATORS (METRICS) •Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) was established in 1960 - began to publish Science Citation Index. •Now published byThompson Reuters •Published annually in the SCI Journal Citation Report. Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  10. 10. JCR - JOURNAL CITATION REPORTS •A host of journal information & metrics •Impact Factor •5-Year Impact factor •Immediacy Index •Cited Half-Life •Self-Citation Rates •Article Influence Score •Eigenfactor Score Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  11. 11. SCIENTIFIC PERFORMANCE INDICATORS Nature:Vol. 465, June 2010, 864-866 Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  12. 12. SCIENTIFIC PERFORMANCE INDICATORS (METRICS) •Simple way to denote influence •Hard to compare between fields Number of citations Number of times a researcher or research paper is cited by others Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  13. 13. SCIENTIFIC PERFORMANCE INDICATORS (METRICS) Impact Factor (IF) The frequency with which an average article in a journal gets cited. Impact factor 2010 = All citations received by Journal X in 2010 to any content published in 2008-2009 No. of citable items published in Journal X in 2008-2009 2010200920082007 2011 Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  14. 14. ABOUT IMPACT FACTOR •Introduced in 1963 to assist selection of journal for SCI. •Only indicates impact of journals, NOT of individual researchers or papers •IF correlates poorly with actual citations of individual articles. Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  15. 15. ABOUT IMPACT FACTOR Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  16. 16. ABOUT IMPACT FACTOR •IF can be affected significantly by a small number of papers in the journal. Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  17. 17. ABOUT IMPACT FACTOR •IF can be affected significantly by a small number of papers in the journal. •For example: In 2005, 89% of Nature’s impact factor was generated by 25% of the articles Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  18. 18. ABOUT IMPACT FACTOR •IF can be affected significantly by a small number of papers in the journal. •For example: In 2005, 89% of Nature’s impact factor was generated by 25% of the articles “Impact factors don’t tell us as much as some people think of the quality of the science that journals are publishing” Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  19. 19. ABOUT IMPACT FACTOR •IF can be affected significantly by a small number of papers in the journal. •For example: In 2005, 89% of Nature’s impact factor was generated by 25% of the articles “Impact factors don’t tell us as much as some people think of the quality of the science that journals are publishing” See “Not-so-deep-impact”, Nature 435, 1003-1004 (23 June 2005) Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  20. 20. IMPACT FACTOR PROS & CONS •Easy to understand •Almost universally accepted. •Little transparency - underlying database not publicly available •2 years citation windows are biased: 2 years favor rapidly moving field; 5 years favor slowly moving field •Subject field differences •Easy to misled & manipulate Pros Cons Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  21. 21. IF CAN RISE & DROP DRAMATICALLY! IF in 2008 = 2.0 IF in 2009 = 49.9 A case in point: Acta Crystallographica - Section A The dramatic rise was due to a single article cited over 6,700 times! Without this article, the IF would have remained < 3.0! Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  22. 22. 5-YEAR IMPACT FACTOR Introduced in February 2009 -- to better gauge the impact of journals within fields where influence of research evolves over a longer period of time. Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  23. 23. 2-YEAR VS 5-YEAR IMPACT FACTOR Immunology Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  24. 24. 2-YEAR VS 5-YEAR IMPACT FACTOR Geology Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  25. 25. SUBJECT FIELD DIFFERENCES Journal IF Impact Factor 2010 Lancet Infectious Diseases Social Studies of Science Dyes and Pigments Food Chemistry Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  26. 26. EASYTO MISLEAD & MANIPULATE Journal can publish a lot of content that is not an article or review (but the citation of the content is counted!) Mislead -- what is counted and what is not counted? Impact factor 2010 = All citations received by Journal X in 2010 to any content published in 2008-2009 No. of citable items published in Journal X in 2008-2009 Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  27. 27. EASYTO MISLEAD & MANIPULATE •ISI counted documents classified as ‘articles’, ‘reviews’ or ‘proceeding papers’ in the denominator •Citations to all papers (including editorials, news items, letters to editor, etc.) are counted for the numerator. What exactly counted in the numerator & denominator? Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  28. 28. •Editors write editorial •Editor refers to a lot of journal content published in last 2 years - all these citations are counted TRICKS & MANIPULATIONTO BOAST IMPACT FACTOR Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  29. 29. BEWARE WHILE USING IMPACT FACTOR •The absolute value of IF is meaningless •IFs should not be used to compare journals across disciplines (e.g., citation frequency in medicine > mathematics) •IFs are not very relevant in certain field Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  30. 30. IMPACT FACTOR ALONE DOES NOT INDICATE... •Quality of individual article within a journal •The overall quality of research performed •The prestige of research or academic programs/institution Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  31. 31. COMMON MISUSES OF IMPACT FACTOR AS A SOLE CRITERIA •Promotion/tenure decisions •University administrators’ rating or ranking academic & research programs within and across an institution •Use as a publicity by journal publishers to boast their reputation Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  32. 32. CAN WE RELY ON IMPACT FACTOR? •All metrics have limitation! •We have to understand the limitation of IF •Use multiple qualitative & quantitative measures as much as possible (e.g., Eigenfactor, h-index) Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  33. 33. EIGENFACTOR SCORE •The Eigenfactor algorithm uses the structure of the entire network to evaluate the importance of each journal, cutting across all diciplines. Self- citations are excluded. •This corresponds to a simple model in which readers follow chains of citations as they move from journal to journal. Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  34. 34. EIGENFACTOR SCORE •Eigenfactor calculations take into consideration a 5-year span of citation activity utilizing data from JCR. •Journals are considered to be influential if they are cited often by other influential journals. Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  35. 35. WHAT ARETHE CRITERIA OF A GOOD JOURNAL? Strong peer- review process? High manuscript rejection rates? Inclusion of high quality research? Impact factor? Highly respected editor or editorial board? Authors prestige? Publisher? Readership - size, diversity? User view point Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  36. 36. WHAT ARETHE CRITERIA OF A GOOD JOURNAL? Document delivery request Faculty recommendation Citation impact Usage Indexing sources Editorial quality Publisher Cost Librarian view point Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  37. 37. CONCLUSION •Don’t worry so much about impact factor •Overcome your fear of publishing by getting your first paper published at least in peer- reviewed journal. •Publish in journals that are visible and accessible (i.e., in indexed journal) •Go for reputable journals that publish only quality papers (not necessarily high IF) . Tuesday, December 27, 2011
  38. 38. Thank You for Your Kind Attention Tuesday, December 27, 2011

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