Journal Impact Factor

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Journal Impact Factor

Postby mgcrisp » Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:24 am

The impact factor (IF) of a journal is calculated by dividing the number of current year citations to the source items published in that journal during the previous two years [1].

If you were to use the IF in evaluating an individual's research performance would you use the current impact factor and apply it back through time - or, would you use the relevant impact factor for each year for each published article?

Using the current impact factor might demonstrate the current influence of the journals which had been published in and possibly an impression of the relevance of the research. However, this may disadvantage authors who had published in a high impact factor journal at the time of publication and subsequently the impact factor has dropped. One problem with this latter argument is that it potentially becomes more of a discussion of the performance of the journal than of the individual.

Of course there are also many arguments against using the journal impact factor in the evaluation of an individual's research performance. One reason being that the impact factor is usually a poor indicator of the quality of any one particular article in the journal.

1. The Thomson Reuters Impact Factor
Michael G. Crisp

Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.
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