Science publishers downplay importance of impact factor

maandag 25 juli 2016

About 65%-75% of papers published in a journal receive less citations than the journal impact factor of that journal suggests. A team of editors and science publishers decribes the skewed citation distribution in the journal bioRxiv. It is an attempt to downplay the importance of the Journal Impact Factor in assessing individual articles or even researchers.

The authors state: “Our intention here is to encourage publishers, journal editors and academics to generate and publish journal citation distributions as a countermeasure to the tendency to rely unduly and inappropriately on JIFs in the assessment of research and researchers.”

Nature, with an impact factor of 38, publishes its own citation distribution. It turns out that about 75% of all papers published in Nature receive less than 38 citations. “A spokesperson for Nature says that the journal will soon update its websites “to cover a broader range of metrics””.



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