June 25, 2008

Impact Factor Follow-up: Criticisms

Speaking of Impact Factors, the May issue of Epidemiology has several short articles questioning the use of Impact Factors in response to a social experiment presented in the same issue. Personally, I like IF's. They are useful and interesting tools to track, evaluate, and visualize scientific endeavors. But then again, I'm a librarian and this is an interesting hobby for us. We don't risk our jobs on them...

Rise and Fall of the Thomson Impact Factor.
Epidemiology. 19(3):373-374, May 2008.
Allen J. Wilcox

The Impact Factor Follies.
Epidemiology. 19(3):372, May 2008.
Richard Rothenberg

How Come Scientists Uncritically Adopt and Embody Thomson's Bibliographic Impact Factor?
Epidemiology. 19(3):370-371, May 2008.
Miquel Porta; Carlos ?lvarez-Dardet

Impact Factor: Good Reasons for Concern.
Epidemiology. 19(3):369, May 2008.
Moyses Szklo

April 21, 2008

Impact Factors: A how-to guide

It used to be that the best way to discover a journal's 'Impact Factor" (ahem, the average number of citations made to the journal's content over the course of a few years...thereby implying readership) was to use the expensive, library resource ISI's Web of Science (formerly the Science Citation Index). ISI has recently taken some heat following a debunking article from the editors of Cell who were unable to replicate ISI impact factors since the company is both secretive and selective regarding the type of articles they include in their calculations.

Now there are a few alternatives for Impact Factor calculations: SCImago Journal and Country Rank (SJR) and Google Scholar. They too have pros and cons...

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