The impact factor: A critical analysis.

Abteilung Radiologie und Nuklearmedizin, Klinikum Benjamin Franklin, FU Berlin.
RöFo - Fortschritte auf dem Gebiet der R (Impact Factor: 1.96). 10/1998; 169(3):220-6. DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-1015082
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The impact factor, provided by the Institute for Scientific Information, Philadelphia (PA), has become the most important evaluation tool for scientific research and academic work. It is calculated by dividing the number of current year citations to the source items published in the journal during the previous two years. In market research, the impact factor provides quantitative evidence for editors and publishers for positioning their journals in relation to the competition. Despite its popularity, the parameter should be used with careful attention to the many phenomena that influence citation rates. The correlation between the citation frequency of a certain article and the impact factor of the journal in which it is published is questionable. A few articles have many citations and the rest are sparsely cited or not at all. Citation impact is more a measure of utility than of scientific value. Authors' selection of references is subject to biases unrelated to quality. Moreover, there is a tremendous bias towards English language journals compared with those in other languages. Finally, different specialties exhibit different ranges of peak impact. The impact factor favours research areas that promote many short-term studies. Conversely, a tendency to treat clinical investigations as less important is created.

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    ABSTRACT: Introduction The aim of this study was to determine the association between the IF of surgery journals and the level of evidence of articles on therapeutic procedures published in these journals. Material and method A bibliometric study was performed. Journals listed in the 2002 ISI® under the subject heading of Surgery were included. Journals were classified by applying the 33rd percentile of their IF (group 1 from 0.128 to 1.690, group 2 from 1.691 to 2.886, and group 3 from 2.887 to 6.674). Simple randomized sampling was conducted of journals in each group (group 1: Eur J Surg, Am Surg and World J Surg; group 2: J Am Coll Surg, Surgery and Arch Surg; and group 3: Br J Surg and Ann Surg). A crossover analysis was performed by 2 independent teams of reviewers. Results There were 751 article on therapy (41.2%). The mean IF was 1.66 ± 0.48 for group 1, 2.61 ± 0.15 for group 2, and 4.69 ± 1.57 for group 3 (P<.001). There were 16 systematic reviews, 82 randomized clinical trials, 96 cohort studies, 474 case series and 79 review articles. Level 1 evidence was found in only 4.8% of the articles. Statistical differences were verified in 15.1% of the study sample, which was repre-sented by systematic reviews and randomized clinical trials (most frequent in group 3 (P<.001). Conclusions An association between the IF of scientific surgical journals and the level of evidence in articles published on therapy was verified.
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    ABSTRACT: The journal impact factor at present is considered a yard stick for measuring the relative quality and significance of a journal. It is defined as the frequency with which the ‘average article’ in a journal has been cited in a particular year or period. For long, impact factor has been criticized as an inaccurate measurement. Though till now impact factor is used to compare journals, one should be open-minded and cautious bearing in mind the inherent limitations of impact factor. Using impact factor of journals to evaluate individual articles and authors should be avoided. Limitations of impact factor led to the development of some alternative indices to measure impact of journals, articles and authors such as H-index, Y-factor, Eigen Factor, PageRank etc. Some of these alternatives may be more accepted than impact factor.
    02/2015; 8(2):457-464. DOI:10.1080/09737766.2013.832907
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    ABSTRACT: N. Scott McNutt has recently retired from his long-standing position as a Professor in Pathology and Internal Medicine (Dermatology) at Weill Medical College at Cornell University. He leaves behind a legacy that includes trainees throughout the world, many of whom continue to contribute to the world of academic dermatopathology. His obvious love for true scholarship is reflected as much by his indirect influence on hundreds of trainees as by his already impressive personal bibliography.
    Journal of Cutaneous Pathology 12/2008; 35 Suppl 2:45-7. DOI:10.1111/j.1600-0560.2008.01100.x · 1.56 Impact Factor