Monday, August 23, 2010

Problems with impact factors

Seth Olsen brought to my attention an Editorial in the American Chemical Society journal Chemical Biology Deep Impact: Scientific Evaluation by the Numbers. It discusses some of the problems associated with the metric Impact Factors for journals:
Acta Crystallographica—Section A had an impact factor of 2.0 in 2008, which vaulted up to 49.9 in 2009 .... What is even more remarkable is that this rise can be predominantly attributed to citations to a single article published in 2008....

Nature calculated that 25% of published articles contributed to 89% of the journal’s 2005 impact factor.
While on the subject of research metrics the Wikipedia page on the h-index is worth reading.

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