Beat it, impact factor! Publishing elite turns against controversial metric : Nature News & Comment
Calculated by various companies and promoted by publishers, journal impact factors (JIFs) are a measure of the average number of citations that a journal’s articles receive over the past two years. They were designed to indicate the quality of journals, but researchers often use the metric to assess the quality of individual papers — and even, in some cases, their authors.
Mon Jul 11 08:51:22 2016 - permalink -
Many researchers evaluate papers by the impact factor of the journals in which they appear, he worries, and impact factor can also influence decisions made by university hiring committees and funding agencies.
Most of the papers garnered fewer citations than the impact factor for their journal: 74.8% of Nature articles were cited below its impact factor of 38.1, and 75.5% of Science papers were cited fewer than 35 times in two years (its impact factor was 34.7)
Highly cited papers explain this disconnect. Nature’s most cited paper in the analysis was referenced 905 times and Science’s 694 times. PLoS ONE’s biggest paper accrued 114 citations, versus its impact factor of 3.1.
they provide a more informative snapshot of a journal’s standing.
This is a cultural thing,” says Bertuzzi, “and it takes pressure from multiple points to change behaviour”.
“We want to make it so tacky that people will be embarrassed just to mention it.”