[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: Der Impact-Faktor (IF, journal impact factor), der alljhrlich vom Institute for Scientific Information (Philadelphia, USA) publiziert wird, hat mittlerweile in Deutschland und Europa eine weite Verbreitung als scientometrischer Parameter zur Evaluation von Forschung und Forscherinnen/Forschern gefunden. Der vorliegende Artikel setzt sich kritisch mit dem IF auseinander. Dabei wird zunchst auf die Prozesse der Produktion, des Transfers und der Verwendung medizinischen Wissens eingegangen, denn der IF greift aufgrund seiner Reflexivitt in diese Prozesse ein. Nebenfolgen der IF-Verwendung im Sinne der Reflexivitt werden auf der Ebene der Autorin/des Autors, der Zeitschrift und Fachdisziplin sowie in Bezug auf gesamtgesellschaftliche Wissensprozesse untersucht. Zudem wird herausgearbeitet, inwieweit der IF als Indikator fr die Qualitt eines Zeitschriftenartikels, einer Zeitschrift und fr die Qualitt von individuellen und kollektiven Forschungsleistungen geeignet ist. Der Artikel votiert fr 1. eine Forschungsevaluation entsprechend den Empfehlungen der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) und der Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Wissenschaftlichen Medizinischen Fachgesellschaften (AWMF) und 2. eine intensivere Beschftigung mit und Gestaltung von medizinischen Wissensprozessen.The journal impact factor (IF), which is published annually by the Institute for Scientific Information (Philadelphia, USA), is meanwhile in widespread use as a scientometric parameter for the evaluation of research and researchers in Germany and other European countries. The present article subjects the IF to critical analysis. It first deals with processes of production, transfer, and use of medical knowledge, because the IF intervenes in these processes on account of its reflexivity. Secondary effects of the IF resulting from its reflexivity are discussed with the focus on the level of the author, the journal and the medical discipline as well as on social knowledge processes in society. In addition, the extent to which the IF is appropriate for evaluating the quality of a specific article, of a journal or of individual and collective research achievements is discussed. The present article calls for 1. research evaluation in accordance with the recommendations of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Council) and of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Wissenschaftlichen Medizinischen Fachgesellschaften (Association of the Scientific Medical Societies) and 2. more intensive occupation with and organization of medical knowledge processes.
    Clinical Neuroradiology 01/2003; 13(4):173-193. · 1.62 Impact Factor
  • Physikalische Medizin Rehabilitationsmedizin Kurortmedizin 10/2002; 12(5):257-259. · 0.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The paper articulates the problems of journal publication in a relatively small country such as Romania where locally (i.e. nationally) published journals include most of the national medical scientific output. The starting point was a study ordered by the Cluj University of Medicine and Pharmacy Scientific Council, for the purpose of obtaining an objectively ranked list of all current Romanian biomedical journals that could be used in the evaluation of the scientific activity of the university academic staff. Sixty-five current biomedical journals were identified—of which more than half were new titles that had appeared over the past 5 years. None of these are included in the Science Citation Index or Journal Citation Reports (JCR). A set of criteria was used for ranking the journals: peer review, inclusion in international databases, publication time lag, language of articles and abstracts, journal specific index and domestic impact factor. The period covered, along with tools and formulas used are presented. The problems of Romanian biomedical journals as well as ways of improving publishing standards are discussed. Also emphasized is the necessity for increased awareness in the medical scholarly community and the role of the library in this respect.
    Health Information & Libraries Journal 05/2001; 18(2):91 - 98. · 0.89 Impact Factor