Quantifying the impact of scientific research is almost always controversial, and there is a need for a uniform method that can be applied across all fields. Increasingly, however, the quantification has been summed up in the impact factor of the journal in which the work is published, which is known to show differences between fields. Here the h-index, a way to summarize an individual's highly cited work, was calculated for journals over a twenty year time span and compared to the size of the journal in four fields, Agriculture, Condensed Matter Physics, Genetics and Heredity and Mathematical Physics. There is a linear log-log relationship between the h-index and the size of the journal: the larger the journal, the more likely it is to have a high h-index. The four fields cannot be separated from each other suggesting that this relationship applies to all fields. A strike rate index (SRI) based on the log relationship of the h-index and the size of the journal shows a similar distribution in the four fields, with similar thresholds for quality, allowing journals across diverse fields to be compared to each other. The SRI explains more than four times the variation in citation counts compared to the impact factor.
Most researchers acknowledge an intrinsic hierarchy in the scholarly journals (“journal rank”) that they submit their work to, and adjust not only their submission but also their reading strategies accordingly. On the other hand, much has been written about the negative effects of institutionalizing journal rank as an impact measure. So far, contributions to the debate concerning the limitations of journal rank as a scientific impact assessment tool have either lacked data, or relied on only a few studies. In this review, we present the most recent and pertinent data on the consequences of our current scholarly communication system with respect to various measures of scientific quality (such as utility/citations, methodological soundness, expert ratings or retractions). These data corroborate previous hypotheses: using journal rank as an assessment tool is bad scientific practice. Moreover, the data lead us to argue that any journal rank (not only the currently-favored Impact Factor) would have this negative impact. Therefore, we suggest that abandoning journals altogether, in favor of a library-based scholarly communication system, will ultimately be necessary. This new system will use modern information technology to vastly improve the filter, sort and discovery functions of the current journal system.
impact factor; journal ranking; statistics as topic; publishing; open access; scholarly communication; libraries; library services
There were 75 articles published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (JCMR) in 2010, which is a 34% increase in the number of articles since 2009. The quality of the submissions continues to increase, and the editors were delighted with the recent announcement of the JCMR Impact Factor of 4.33 which showed a 90% increase since last year. Our acceptance rate is approximately 30%, but has been falling as the number of articles being submitted has been increasing. In accordance with Open-Access publishing, the JCMR articles go on-line as they are accepted with no collating of the articles into sections or special thematic issues. Last year for the first time, the Editors summarized the papers for the readership into broad areas of interest or theme, which we felt would be useful to practitioners of cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) so that you could review areas of interest from the previous year in a single article in relation to each other and other recent JCMR articles . This experiment proved very popular with a very high rate of downloading, and therefore we intend to continue this review annually. The papers are presented in themes and comparison is drawn with previously published JCMR papers to identify the continuity of thought and publication in the journal. We hope that you find the open-access system increases wider reading and citation of your papers, and that you will continue to send your quality manuscripts to JCMR for publication.
We discuss what document types account for the calculation of the journal impact factor (JIF) as published in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR). Based on a brief review of articles discussing how to predict JIFs and taking data differences between the Web of Science (WoS) and the JCR into account, we make our own predictions. Using data by cited-reference searching for Thomson Scientific’s WoS, we predict 2007 impact factors (IFs) for several journals, such as Nature, Science, Learned Publishing and some Library and Information Sciences journals. Based on our colleagues’ experiences we expect our predictions to be lower bounds for the official journal impact factors. We explain why it is useful to derive one’s own journal impact factor.
WoS (Web of Science); JCR (Journal Citation Reports); Citation analysis; Predicted impact factors
Scientific communication, career advancement, and funding decisions are all dependent on research publications. The way manuscripts are handled by high-visibility, professionally edited magazines differs from the way academic journals evaluate manuscripts, using active scientists as monitoring editors. In this essay, I discuss the benefits that come with the involvement of active scientists. I enumerate the decisions a monitoring editor has to make, and how he or she goes about making them. Finally, I indicate ways in which authors can help to make the process a smoother and more positive experience.
Journal impact factors have become an important criterion to judge the quality of scientific publications over the years, influencing the evaluation of institutions and individual researchers worldwide. However, they are also subject to a number of criticisms. Here we point out that the calculation of a journal’s impact factor is mainly based on the date of publication of its articles in print form, despite the fact that most journals now make their articles available online before that date. We analyze 61 neuroscience journals and show that delays between online and print publication of articles increased steadily over the last decade. Importantly, such a practice varies widely among journals, as some of them have no delays, while for others this period is longer than a year. Using a modified impact factor based on online rather than print publication dates, we demonstrate that online-to-print delays can artificially raise a journal’s impact factor, and that this inflation is greater for longer publication lags. We also show that correcting the effect of publication delay on impact factors changes journal rankings based on this metric. We thus suggest that indexing of articles in citation databases and calculation of citation metrics should be based on the date of an article’s online appearance, rather than on that of its publication in print.
This article reviews the extraordinary growth in the scientific literature that has resulted from increased federal expenditures in the past decade or two. The article further notes that the impact of the knowledge explosion has impinged on the Health Sciences Library as well as on the individual scientist who needs access to the information. A strong plea is made for the librarian to assume a more active role in: doing internal research with respect to how best to use the library as a tool in the dissemination of new information; educating newcomers to the field of library science with respect to the management of scientific information; and converting the library from a passive to an active instrument in disseminating the scholarly record to and among those who require access to it. Medical center administrators are reminded that if the librarian succeeds in these ventures then he will fulfill all of the research, teaching, and service requirements ordinarily made of other academic departments and, in turn, should be rewarded with departmental status for the library.
Medical librarians and informatics professionals believe the medical journal literature can be useful in clinical practice, but evidence suggests that practicing physicians do not share this belief. The authors designed a study to determine whether a random sample of "native" questions asked by primary care practitioners could be answered using the journal literature. Participants included forty-nine active, nonacademic primary care physicians providing ambulatory care in rural and nonrural Oregon, and seven medical librarians. The study was conducted in three stages: (1) office interviews with physicians to record clinical questions; (2) online searches to locate answers to selected questions; and (3) clinician feedback regarding the relevance and usefulness of the information retrieved. Of 295 questions recorded during forty-nine interviews, 60 questions were selected at random for searches. The average total time spent searching for and selecting articles for each question was forty-three minutes. The average cost per question searched was $27.37. Clinician feedback was received for 48 of 56 questions (four physicians could not be located, so their questions were not used in tabulating the results). For 28 questions (56%), clinicians judged the material relevant; for 22 questions (46%) the information provided a "clear answer" to their question. They expected the information would have had an impact on their patient in nineteen (40%) cases, and an impact on themselves or their practice in twenty-four (51%) cases. If the results can be generalized, and if the time and cost of performing searches can be reduced, increased use of the journal literature could significantly improve the extent to which primary care physicians' information needs are met.
The past 3 decades have witnessed a boost in science development in China; in parallel, more and more Chinese scientific journals are indexed by the Journal Citation Reports issued by Thomson Reuters (SCI). Evaluation of the performance of these Chinese SCI journals is necessary and helpful to improve their quality. This study aimed to evaluate these journals by calculating various journal self-citation rates, which are important parameters influencing a journal impact factor.
We defined three journal self-citation rates, and studied these rates for 99 Chinese scientific journals, almost exhausting all Chinese SCI journals currently available. Likewise, we selected 99 non-Chinese international (abbreviated as ‘world’) journals, with each being in the same JCR subject category and having similar impact factors as their Chinese counterparts. Generally, Chinese journals tended to be higher in all the three self-citation rates than world journal counterparts. Particularly, a few Chinese scientific journals had much higher self-citation rates.
Our results show that generally Chinese scientific journals have higher self-citation rates than those of world journals. Consequently, Chinese scientific journals tend to have lower visibility and are more isolated in the relevant fields. Considering the fact that sciences are rapidly developing in China and so are Chinese scientific journals, we expect that the differences of journal self-citation rates between Chinese and world scientific journals will gradually disappear in the future. Some suggestions to solve the problems are presented.
Journal of Experimental & Clinical Assisted Reproduction is an open access, online, peer-review journal publishing papers on all aspects of research into reproductive endocrinology, infertility, bioethics and the advanced reproductive technologies. The journal reports on important developments impacting the field of human reproductive medicine and surgery. The field exists as a sub-specialty of obstetrics & gynecology, focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of complex human reproductive problems. The continued growth of this relatively new field depends on quality research by proven scientists as well as junior investigators who, together, make contributions to this area of medical and surgical practice. The publishing revolution made possible by internet technology presages a bright future for continued interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers. Against this background, Journal of Experimental & Clinical Assisted Reproduction exists for the scientific community to facilitate this scholarly dialogue.
publishing; reproductive medicine; internet; research; trends
The Korean Journal of Internal Medicine has already been valued as an international journal, according to a citation analysis in 2011. Now, 2 years later, I would like to confirm how much the Journal has advanced from the point of view of journal metrics by looking at the impact factor, cites per document (2 years), SCImago Journal Rank (SJR), and the Hirsch index. These were obtained from a variety of databases, such as the Korean Medical Citation Index, KoreaMed Synapse, Web of Science, JCR Web, and SCImago Journal & Country Rank. The manually calculated 2012 impact factor was 1.252 in the Web of Science, with a ranking of 70/151 (46.4%) in the category of general and internal medicine. Cites per documents (2 years) for 2012 was 1.619, with a ranking of 267/1,588 (16.8%) in the category of medicine (miscellaneous). The 2012 SJR was 0.464, with a ranking of 348/1,588 (21.9%) in the category of medicine (miscellaneous). The Hirsch index from KoreaMed Synapse, Web of Science, and SCImago Journal & Country Rank were 12, 15, and 19, respectively. In comparison with data from 2010, the values of all the journal metrics increased consistently. These results reflect favorably on the increased competency of editors and authors of The Korean Journal of Internal Medicine.
Korea; Bibliometrics; Journal impact factor; Periodicals
The Internet has recently made possible the free global availability of scientific journal articles. Open Access (OA) can occur either via OA scientific journals, or via authors posting manuscripts of articles published in subscription journals in open web repositories. So far there have been few systematic studies showing how big the extent of OA is, in particular studies covering all fields of science.
The proportion of peer reviewed scholarly journal articles, which are available openly in full text on the web, was studied using a random sample of 1837 titles and a web search engine. Of articles published in 2008, 8,5% were freely available at the publishers' sites. For an additional 11,9% free manuscript versions could be found using search engines, making the overall OA percentage 20,4%. Chemistry (13%) had the lowest overall share of OA, Earth Sciences (33%) the highest. In medicine, biochemistry and chemistry publishing in OA journals was more common. In all other fields author-posted manuscript copies dominated the picture.
The results show that OA already has a significant positive impact on the availability of the scientific journal literature and that there are big differences between scientific disciplines in the uptake. Due to the lack of awareness of OA-publishing among scientists in most fields outside physics, the results should be of general interest to all scholars. The results should also interest academic publishers, who need to take into account OA in their business strategies and copyright policies, as well as research funders, who like the NIH are starting to require OA availability of results from research projects they fund. The method and search tools developed also offer a good basis for more in-depth studies as well as longitudinal studies.
All the opinions in this article are those of the authors and should not be construed to reflect, in any way, those of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Our study purpose was to assess the predictive validity of reviewer quality ratings and editorial decisions in a general medicine journal.
Submissions to the Journal of General Internal Medicine (JGIM) between July 2004 and June 2005 were included. We abstracted JGIM peer review quality ratings, verified the publication status of all articles and calculated an impact factor for published articles (Rw) by dividing the 3-year citation rate by the average for this group of papers; an Rw>1 indicates a greater than average impact.
Of 507 submissions, 128 (25%) were published in JGIM, 331 rejected (128 with review) and 48 were either not resubmitted after revision was requested or were withdrawn by the author. Of 331 rejections, 243 were published elsewhere. Articles published in JGIM had a higher citation rate than those published elsewhere (Rw: 1.6 vs. 1.1, p = 0.002). Reviewer quality ratings of article quality had good internal consistency and reviewer recommendations markedly influenced publication decisions. There was no quality rating cutpoint that accurately distinguished high from low impact articles. There was a stepwise increase in Rw for articles rejected without review, rejected after review or accepted by JGIM (Rw 0.60 vs. 0.87 vs. 1.56, p<0.0005). However, there was low agreement between reviewers for quality ratings and publication recommendations. The editorial publication decision accurately discriminated high and low impact articles in 68% of submissions. We found evidence of better accuracy with a greater number of reviewers.
The peer review process largely succeeds in selecting high impact articles and dispatching lower impact ones, but the process is far from perfect. While the inter-rater reliability between individual reviewers is low, the accuracy of sorting is improved with a greater number of reviewers.
There are countless reasons nearly every scientist should learn how to communicate effectively with the media, including increased understanding of critical research findings to attract or sustain funding and build new professional partnerships that will further propel forward research. But where do scientists begin? Bridging the Divide between Science and Journalism offers practical tips for any scientist looking to work with the media.
Given the traditional and internet-based sources for medical research and healthcare-related news now available, it is imperative that scientists know how to communicate their latest findings through the appropriate channels. The credible media channels are managed by working journalists, so learning how to package vast, technical research in a form that is appetizing and "bite-sized" in order to get their attention, is an art. Reducing years of research into a headline can be extremely difficult and certainly doesn't come naturally to every scientist, so this article provides suggestions on how to work with the media to communicate your findings.
The accuracy of risk adjustment is important in developing surgeon profiles. As surgeon profiles are obtained from observational, nonrandomized data, we hypothesized that selection bias exists in how patients are matched with surgeons and that this bias might influence surgeon profiles. We used the Society of Thoracic Surgeons risk model to calculate observed to expected (O/E) mortality ratios for each of six cardiac surgeons at a single institution. Propensity scores evaluated selection bias that might influence development of risk-adjusted mortality profiles. Six surgeons (four high and two low O/E ratios) performed 2298 coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) operations over 4 years. Multivariate predictors of operative mortality included preoperative shock, advanced age, and renal dysfunction, but not the surgeon performing CABG. When patients were stratified into quartiles based on the propensity score for operative death, 83% of operative deaths (50 of 60) were in the highest risk quartile. There were significant differences in the number of high-risk patients operated upon by each surgeon. One surgeon had significantly more patients in the highest risk quartile and two surgeons had significantly less patients in the highest risk quartile (p < 0.05 by chi-square). Our results show that high-risk patients are preferentially shunted to certain surgeons, and away from others, for unexplained (and unmeasured) reasons. Subtle unmeasured factors undoubtedly influence how cardiac surgery patients are matched with surgeons. Problems may arise when applying national database benchmarks to local situations because of this unmeasured selection bias.
Cardiovascular operations; outcomes; complications; risk adjustment
A change in job responsibilities from library manager to hospital administrator provides this year's Doe lecturer the opportunity to reflect on the values of the library profession from a fresh perspective. Librarians play a unique role and remain vital to the health care enterprise but are frequently misunderstood. Their role can be viewed from three angles: service, technology, and a unique sort of professionalism. Librarians must focus their service priorities on the needs of the institution, while remaining true to their own unique professional values. They must be advocates for the appropriate use of technology in support of those service roles. The passion that many librarians bring to their jobs makes librarianship a vocation as much as a profession. The mission and vision developed by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists in 2001 provides a useful model for defining a personal professional mission and vision.
Overall, toxicology journals have low impact factors compared to other scientific journals. As academic promotion boards increasingly use semiquantitative methods of determining academic productivity (such as the impact factor andh index of the journals in which a person has published), it could be expected that the toxicology journals in which many people in the fields of medical and clinical toxicology publish will see decreased submissions, as authors attempt to get their work published in journals with higher impact factors.
Impact factor; h indices; citation analyses; toxicology
Citation analysis is currently one of the most widely used metrics for analyzing the scientific contribution in different fields. The Islamic World Science Citation Center (ISC) aims at promoting technical cooperation among Muslim scientists and their respected centers based on these theories. It also facilitates the accessibility of knowledge and research contribution among them. This paper aims at revealing some of the outmost features of ISC databases, in order to give a fairly clear view of what it is and what are its products. The paper consists of three major parts. After an introduction about the Islamic World Science Citation Center, the paper deals with major tools and products of ISC. In the third part ISCs’ journal Submission system is presented as an automatic means, by which users can upload journals’ papers into the respected databases.
Some complementary remarks have been made regarding the current state of ISC and its future plans.
The Islamic World Science Citation Center; ISC; Scientific contribution; Research Journals.
Osteopathic Medicine and Primary Care (OMPC) enters its fourth year of operation in 2010 under the umbrella of BioMed Central. Osteopathic Medicine and Primary Care strives to promote and advance research and scholarly work within the fields of osteopathic medicine and primary care. In so doing, OMPC welcomes submissions from clinicians within both the osteopathic and allopathic medical professions, and from other professionals having interests in primary care, including health care delivery, public health, and evidence-based medicine. Osteopathic Medicine and Primary Care offers fair and expeditious peer review (mean time from submission to publication, 118 days), retention of copyright for authors, unlimited online distribution and access without charge to readers, indexing in PubMed, and archiving in PubMed Central. In 2010, there will be an increased availability of waivers or discounts of article processing charges via several mechanisms for eligible authors who submit qualified manuscripts, especially in the field of primary care.
Research in the field of cardiopulmonary disease in Brazil has been very active in recent decades. The combination of PUBMED, SCieLO, open access and online searching has provided a significant increase in the visibility of Brazilian journals. This newly acquired international visibility has in turn resulted in the appearance of more original research reports in the Brazilian scientific press. This review is intended to highlight part of this work for the benefit of the readers of “Clinics.” We searched through PUBMED for noteworthy articles published in Brazilian medical journals included in the Journal of Citation Reports of the Institute of Scientific Information to better expose them to our readership. The following journals were examined: “Arquivos Brasileiros de Cardiologia,” “Arquivos Brasileiros de Endocrinologia e Metabologia,” “Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Reviews,” “Jornal Brasileiro de Pneumologia,” “Jornal de Pediatria,” “Revista Brasileira de Cirurgia Cardiovascular,” “Revista da Associação Médica Brasileira,” Revista da Escola de Enfermagem U.S.P.” and “São Paulo Medical Journal.” These journals publish original investigations in the field of cardiopulmonary disease. The search produced 71 references, which are briefly examined.
Cardiology; Pneumology; Clinical research; Surgery; Epidemiology
The impact of scientific publications has traditionally been expressed in terms of citation counts. However, scientific activity has moved online over the past decade. To better capture scientific impact in the digital era, a variety of new impact measures has been proposed on the basis of social network analysis and usage log data. Here we investigate how these new measures relate to each other, and how accurately and completely they express scientific impact.
We performed a principal component analysis of the rankings produced by 39 existing and proposed measures of scholarly impact that were calculated on the basis of both citation and usage log data.
Our results indicate that the notion of scientific impact is a multi-dimensional construct that can not be adequately measured by any single indicator, although some measures are more suitable than others. The commonly used citation Impact Factor is not positioned at the core of this construct, but at its periphery, and should thus be used with caution.
A unique mathematical formula was developed to use for journal deselection decisions. The formula factors in subscription cost, shelving and storage cost, interlibrary loan cost, staffing cost, and use level to determine the institutional cost ratio; this ratio serves as an indicator of the cost-effectiveness of each subscription title. Once the institutional cost ratio was calculated for each of 537 titles, a committee of library staff and senior library customers reviewed the ranked list to decide which subscriptions should be canceled. The committee also considered possible exceptions based on subjective criteria such as availability at local libraries, unrecorded use, and relative importance of the journal. The preliminary cancellation list was then reviewed by the library's research users. They were able to justify library subscriptions to a few additional titles. This method enabled the library to cut its subscription costs by 46%, while cutting only 8% of the total use. In addition, by mediating the mathematical approach with human intervention, the library made these severe cuts without unduly distressing its patrons.
Epidemiology and public health are usually context-specific. Journals published in different languages and countries play a role both as sources of data and as channels through which evidence is incorporated into local public health practice. Databases in these languages facilitate access to relevant journals, and professional education in these languages facilitates the growth of native expertise in epidemiology and public health. However, as English has become the lingua franca of scientific communication in the era of globalisation, many journals published in non-English languages face the difficult dilemma of either switching to English and competing internationally, or sticking to the native tongue and having a restricted circulation among a local readership. This paper discusses the historical development of epidemiology and the current scene of epidemiological and public health journals, databases and professional education in three Western European languages: French, German and Italian, and examines the dynamics and struggles they have today.
Unrestricted, open access to scholarly scientific literature provides an opportunity for chemistry educators to go beyond the textbook, introducing students to the real work of scientists. Despite the best efforts of textbook authors to provide information about recent research results, textbooks are not a substitute for learning to use the primary literature. Chemical educators can use open access articles to develop research-related skills, to foster curiosity, and to cultivate the next generation of scientists. It is becoming increasingly important for chemical educators to teach undergraduates how online journals are changing the nature of chemical research. Some institutions can not afford online subscription costs, and open access journals can be an important resource to provide practical experience. Open access publications eliminate the barriers to the central work of scientists providing chemistry educators (whether at well-endowed or economically limited colleges) with the key resources for enhancing student learning through current, relevant research.
The scientific research in urology and nephrology of China has developed significantly. The present study was designed to analyze the outputs of publications in urology and nephrology journals from three regions of China: mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
The numbers of articles, impact factors, citation reports and other indexes within this category between 2000 and 2009 were extracted for quantity and quality comparisons from PubMed and the ISI (Institute for Scientific Information-currently called the Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge) database.
There were 3100 articles from the mainland (36.5%), Taiwan (46.8%) and Hong Kong (16.7%), and the increasing trend in each region was significant (p < 0.001). The accumulated impact factor and total citation of Taiwan exceeded the other two regions, while the average impact factor and citation of Hong Kong was highest. There were differences between the three regions on the most popular journals.
Although the quantity of articles in urology and nephrology from the mainland has exceeded Taiwan and Hong Kong since 2008, there is a considerable gap in the quality of articles between the mainland and the other two regions.