Posted by: bluesyemre | June 11, 2012

The demise of the Impact Factor: The strength of the relationship between citation rates and IF is down to levels last seen 40 years ago

  • Thomson Reuters assigns most journals a yearly Impact Factor (IF), which is defined as the mean citation rate during that year of the papers published in that journal during the previous 2 years. The IF has been repeatedly criticized for many well-known and openly acknowledged reasons. However, editors continue to try to increase their journals’ IFs, and researchers continue to try to publish their work in the journals with the highest IF, which creates the perception of a mutually-reinforcing measure of quality. More disturbingly, although it is easy enough to measure the citation rate of any individual author, a journal’s IF is often extended to indirectly assess individual researchers. Jobs, grants, prestige, and career advancement are all partially based on an admittedly flawed concept. A recent analysis by myself, Vincent Larivière and Yves Gingras identifies one more, perhaps bigger, problem: since about 1990, the IF has been losing its very meaning.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: