The Journals Impact Factor Health And Social Care Essay

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Last Updated: 09 Jul 2021
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The diaries impact factor is at present, considered a pace stick for mensurating the comparative quality and significance of a diary. It is defined as the frequence with which the 'average article ' in a diary has been cited in a peculiar twelvemonth or period. Despite the acknowledgment that the impact factor is an imperfect step and 45 old ages of unfavorable judgment, there is no obvious option. Thus, those forced to utilize this tool for direct diary comparing should be encouraged to stay open-minded and cautious, with an consciousness of the built-in restrictions of its usage. Extension of journal-impact-factor informations to single articles and writers is inappropriate and should be avoided. Some of alternate indices of impact factor (Thomson Reuter) include Google Scholar, PageRank, H-index, Y-factor, Faculty of 1000, Eigen Factor etc. Some of these options may be more recognized than impact factor in future.

Cardinal words: Impact factor, h-index, commendation, Alternative


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The construct of commendations as tool for 'evaluating ' scientific discipline was foremost proposed by Eugene Garfield in 1955 ( Garfield, 1955 ) . As merely a limited figure of diaries could be included in the Thomson Reuters ( TR ) databases ( presently totaling about 10500 ) , analyses based on such a limited dataset ( besides selected in a non-transparent manner by the TR ) has been widely and badly criticized by both the developed and developing states ( Molloy, 2007 ) . Although holding been widely criticized, the impact factor ( IF ) published in the Science Citation Index Journal Citation Reports by the Institute for Scientific Information is the most normally used bibliometric standard. It quantifies the influence of a periodical on secondary publications ( Garfield, 1999 ), and is normally used non merely to rank and measure diaries, but besides for academic publicity or for the choice of research grant applications. There were coincident attempts to happen alternate indexs utilizing the TR databases, and through other advanced methods. Some of these include Google Scholar, PageRank, H-index, Y-factor, Faculty of 1000, Eigen Factor etc. (Satyanarayana, 2010).

Impact factor

The impact factor was first described in 1955 by Dr. Eugene Garfield ( Jacso, 2001 ; Lundberg, 2003 ) and was used in the early 1960s to assist choice diaries for what would germinate to go the Science Citation Index ( Garfield, 1999 ) . The Science Citation Index, a commercial belongings of the Institute of Scientific Information ( Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ) ( Opthof, 1997 ) , is used to bring forth the Journal Citation Reports, produced yearly.

The IF is a simple descriptive quantitative measuring of a diary 's public presentation computed on the footing of the mean figure of times articles from the diary published in the past two old ages have been cited in the current twelvemonth. It is calculated from this equation: Journal X 's 2009 impact factor = Citations in 2009 ( in diaries indexed by Thomson Reuters ) to all articles published by Journal X in 2007-2008 divided by Number of articles deemed to be "citable" by Thomson Reuters that were published in Journal X in 2007-2008 (Gisvold, 1999).

The diary IF is presently calculated by Thomson Reuters based on commendation informations from the 6650 plus diaries indexed in the Web of Science database, which is so reported in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR), a database that lists the diaries as per their commendation ranking (Lundberg, 2003).

Impact of impact factor

Ever since the visual aspect of the JCR in 1972, there has been efforts to utilize the IF informations for comparings of scientific discipline, scientists, groups of scientists, scientific subjects, states and, of class, scientific diaries ( Satyanarayana & A ; Sharma, 2008 ; Seglen, 1997 ) . The IF is chiefly meant to be an index of the success of a paper in a diary and a alternate of its direct application in subsequent research. Such broad and indiscriminate application of IF and commendation informations frequently resulted in lopsided and unacceptable quality opinions, particularly on the scientific discipline and engineering capableness and strengths of states led to severe and serious unfavorable judgment of the really usage of citation-based informations for intents other than journal rating. Despite broad and sustained unfavorable judgment, commendation informations and IF continued broad application by research workers to take diaries for reading and referencing and more significantly, tracking challengers ' publications and commendation profiles to stay competitory. Journal editors and publishing houses merely love impact factors and they use the IF as a major USP for pricing and selling the diaries at their will ( Kurmis, 2003 ; Monastersky, 2005 ) .

Librarians continue to trust on impact factors and other commendation informations for make up one's minding which diaries to subscribe. Potential employers use citation-based parametric quantities to measure campaigners ' bibliography for determinations of engaging. Many establishments and Universities all over the universe continue to utilize the commendation informations for appraisal of academic excellence, publicities, awards and wagess. Funding bureaus besides seek commendation indices from appliers to measure undertakings for support. Learned societies and national scientific discipline academies and other such organic structures confabulating awards and wagess all over the universe usage commendation informations for determination devising ( Balaram, 2009 ) .

Incorrect Application of Impact Factors

The quality of an single scientific research paper is an highly hard construct to specify and quantify ( Bloch and Walter 2001 ) . The frequence of commendation has been adopted as a unsmooth index of quality ( Saper 1999 ) . Although a high commendation rate may non ever be associated with high quality, most commendations in most documents are non refuted or discredited by the writers of the paper ( Callaham et al. 2002 ) . Therefore, it is still widely accepted among writers that commendation of work by others imparts a grade of prestigiousness and professional acknowledgment ( Reyes 1998 ) .

While impact factors may be utile for the qualitative rating of diaries, the utility does non widen to single articles. In fact, it has been reported that 50 % of commendations recorded in the Science Citation Index come from merely 15 % of articles published ( Walsh and Weinstein 1998 ) and that the most cited 50 % of articles account for about 90 % of commendations ( Seglon 1997 ) . Therefore, the impact factor of a diary is likely to be mostly influenced by a little per centum of its published articles ( Hansson 1995 ) . Similarly, it is of import to observe that the impact factor does non reflect the quality of the peer-review to which a diary subjects its articles ( Neuberger and Counsell, 2002 ) .

The Institute of Scientific Information itself suggests that the primary public-service corporation of the Journal Citation Reports is to help bibliothecs and research workers in pull offing journal aggregations. In turn toing the extension of this tool to academic rating, the Institute of Scientific Information states that, while the impact factor may supply a gross estimate of the prestigiousness of diaries, it does non rede utilizing this value as the exclusive agencies of comparative rating. Misunderstanding of the impact factor and inappropriate weighting of its importance have affected the author-journal relationship, frequently greatly act uponing writers ' choice of the diaries to which they submit their manuscripts ( Linardi et al. 1996 ) . Many writers may be tempted, or experience pressured, to choose the highest impact-factor-rated diaries likely to accept their article for publication while rejecting diaries whose mark audience may in fact be more suited and receptive to the publication itself ( Meenen 1997 ) .

Restriction of impact factor

Though impact factor is widely accepted globally, it is besides criticized every bit good for some restrictions it possess. Some of the restrictions of impact factor are discussed in the followers:

  1. Impact factor clearly favours diaries which publish work by writers who cite their ain forthcoming work and who are geographically situated to do their work readily available in preprint signifier. The step punishes diaries which publish the work of writers who do non hold rank of these unseeable colleges and is virtually incapable of observing echt impact ( McGarty, 2000 ) .
  2. The 2nd computation job is statistical in nature: the JIF calculates the average figure of commendations to an article in the diary in inquiry. However, many writers have found that commendation distributions are highly skewed. Seglen ( 1997 ) for case found the most cited 15 % of documents to account for 50 % of commendations and the most cited 50 % for 90 % of the commendations. Hence on mean the most cited half of documents are cited nine times every bit much as the least cited half.
  3. The impact factor can be influenced and biased ( deliberately or otherwise ) by many factors.
  4. Extension of the impact factor to the appraisal of journal quality or single writers is inappropriate.
  5. Extension of the impact factor to cross-discipline diary comparing is besides inappropriate.
  6. Those who choose to utilize the impact factor as a comparative tool should be cognizant of the nature and premiss of its derivation and besides of its built-in defects and practical restrictions ( Kurmis, 2003 ) .
  7. It must be recognized that the Science Citation Index includes merely about 5000 diaries ( Lankhorst; Franchignoni, 2001 ) of an estimated universe sum of 126,000 ( Whitehouse, 2002 ; Seglen, 1997 ) ; therefore, it represents; 4 % of all diaries. Diaries non listed in the Science Citation Index database are frequently crudely referred to as holding no impact factor ( zero ) . This suggests, falsely, that 96 % , or 121,000, of diaries are ne'er officially cited.
  8. Citation Index do non lend to impact factor computations ( Talamanca, 2002 ; Callaham et al. , 2002 ) . Seglen reported that, within the field of mathematics, publications that were non included in the Science Citation Index database were cited more often than were publications that were included ( Seglen, 1997 ) .
  9. Review of the diaries included in the Science Citation Index database has besides shown an tremendous prejudice toward those published in English ( Bloch; Walter, 2001 ; Neuberger & A ; Counsell, 2002 ; Whitehouse, 2002 ; Golder, 1998 ; Winkmann et al. , 2002 ) , with non-English-language diaries given lower impact factors ( Rogers, 2002 ; Dumontier et al. , 2001 ) .
  10. Differences in commendation ( Saper, 1999 ) and citing ( Linardi et al. , 1996 ) inclinations within single Fieldss limit the cogency of cross-discipline comparing. For illustration, it has been reported that the average figure of mentions per article of biochemistry periodicals is three times that of mathematics periodicals ( Linardi et al. , 1996 ) . Some Fieldss encourage drawn-out mention lists, whereas others dictate more concise or restricted bibliographic listings ( Sieck, 2002 ) . Because of this, Linardi et Al. ( 1996 ) suggested that comparings of diaries on the footing of their impact factors should be limited entirely to intra-area rating ; they warned that inter-area comparings may be both inappropriate and deceptive.
  11. Ease of entree to diaries, publication immediateness, and type of publication stuff have all been identified as subscribers to the impact factor. The handiness of diaries to writers and research workers can change ( Curti et al. , 2001 ) . Theoretically, diaries published more often ( Linardi et al. , 1996 ) may be more readily available for commendation or may cut down publication slowdown. The fact that a diary or article is available electronically may besides increase the rate of commendation and therefore the impact factor.
  12. The type of research being reported can impact the journal impact factor because of commendation restrictions. Scientific articles tend to mention merely scientific articles, whereas clinical articles cite both scientific and clinical articles, therefore leting a much larger pool for commendation. In a similar context, general diaries tend to hold higher impact factors than specialist diaries because of the larger pool for commendation ( Hecht et al. , 1998; Saper, 1999).
  13. Finally, those who choose to utilize the impact factor as a step of quality must acknowledge that the Institute of Scientific Information is a private for-profit company that enjoys an undisputed monopoly on the market of citation-frequency recording. Therefore, despite the valuable part that this company has made to the scientific community, it does hold a commercial involvement in the development and application of its merchandises, which may non ever aline itself with pure academic purpose (Rogers, 2002; Sieck, 2002).

Recommendation for bettering impact factors of Diaries

Lack of impact factor does non needfully bespeak hapless quality, unacceptableness and deficiency of freshness in the research work published. It is obvious that there are published a good no of novel and exciting documents in Bangladeshi diaries, but missing of on-line handiness those are non punctually apprehended and cited. To better commendation and impact factor, the undermentioned recommendations can be suggested:

  1. Like many other diaries around the universe, Bangladeshi diaries can propose their writers to mention a figure of ( 5-10 ) articles from Bangladeshi Journals related to their subject and it can be considered as added benefit in accepting a manuscript. This will increase the commendation ratio and h-index, hence impact factor of the diaries.
  2. Rapid on-line publication of all diaries and articles.
  3. Search engine optimisation for the published article.
  4. Scientists and research workers of Bangladesh should seek to mention more autochthonal publications in their documents wherever found relevant.
  5. Research articles published in local diaries should be circulated more extensively throughout the state in print version and by e- mail.
  6. Research workers of Bangladesh should regularly visit and survey documents published in local diaries which is presently extremely unsatisfactory.
  7. Local diaries should better their reappraisal and publication procedure doing it quicker to print a paper so that autochthonal research workers feel involvement to print their work in local diaries.
  8. Diaries should seek to be indexed in worldwide accepted journal systems and archives and databases such as ISI, SJR, Pubmed, Elsevier etc.
  9. More review articles should be published as these articles attract more readers and are cited more than research studies. Therefore, reappraisal articles can raise the impact factor of the diary and reappraisal diaries will hence frequently have the highest impact factors in their several Fieldss.
  10. Diaries may take non to print minor articles, such as instance studies in medical diaries, which are improbable to be cited and would cut down the mean commendation per article.
  11. Diaries may alter the fraction of "citable points'' compared to front-matter in the denominator of the IF equation. Which types of articles are considered "citable'' is mostly a affair of dialogue between diaries and Thomson Scientific. As a consequence of such dialogues, impact factor fluctuations of more than 300 % have been observed. For case, columns in a diary are non considered to be citable points and hence do non come in into the denominator of the impact factor. However, commendations to such points will still come in into the numerator, thereby blow uping the impact factor. In add-on, if such points cite other articles ( frequently even from the same diary ), those commendations will be counted and will increase the commendation count for the cited diary. This consequence is difficult to measure, for the differentiation between editorial remark and short original articles is non ever obvious. "Letterss to the editor'' might mention to either category.
  12. Diaries may print a big fraction of their documents, or preferentially documents which they expect to be extremely cited, early in the calendar twelvemonth. This gives those documents more clip to garner commendations.
  13. Several methods, non needfully with villainous purpose, exist for a diary to mention articles in the same diary which will increase the diary 's impact factor.

Alternate Indexs of journal impact

Right from early 1970s, there have been serious efforts to analyze the restrictions of IF and other citation-based indices and to device alternate matrices that can turn to the lacks to do the rating exercises more nonsubjective. Equally early as 1976, a recursive impact factor and tried to calculate and analyse commendation informations to give commendations from diaries that have high impact greater weight than commendations from low impact diaries was proposed ( Narin & A ; Pinski, 1976 ). The increasing web-based entree to and usage of scholarly literature through powerful hunt engines as Google has facilitated the development of advanced methods and tools to rank scholarly diaries. Such methods have helped farther polish the rating of both scientific discipline and scientists both within and outside the citation-based systems. Some of these include Page Rank, Weighed Page Rank, h-index, g-factor, y-factor, Euro Factor, Faculty of 1000, Eigen factor etc. ( Resnick, 2004 ) . There have besides been several efforts to use parametric quantities other than IF to analyze the issue of 'popularity ' V 'prestige ' of diaries, a major restriction of the IF and other citation-based indices. Many surveies have besides been done to compare the commendation based informations with the new and improved methodological analysiss ( Dellavalle et al. , 2007 ) . One such comparative analysis has shown that Y-factor ranking has helped get the better of at least one important restriction of the IF i.e., the higher ranking of reappraisal diaries as compared to original research documents ( Satyanarayana & A ; Sharma, 2008).

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a free-to-use hunt engine developed in 2004 basically to turn up information from learned diaries and other beginnings on the Web. Due to its easy handiness, Google Scholar is possibly one of the most widely used tools by bookmans in all subjects of scientific discipline and engineering. Some particular maps of the Google Scholar include the 'cited by ' option that provides links to other articles that have cited this paper, and more. It is frequently hard to obtain relevant information rapidly due to absence of sifting harmonizing to quality. The major restrictions of the hunt engine are that non all records retrieved are peer reviewed and hence quality is hard to judge. Besides, there is deficiency of lucidity on how the beginnings themselves are selected, content analyzed, the clip p covered how the listing is done (Satyanarayana, 2010 ) .


PageRank is a package system for ranking web pages developed by Google and has besides been applied to rank research publications. The advantage with this tool is that it uses a wide scope of unfastened informations beginnings from the Google Scholar ( GS ) etc. that can turn up and recover big figure of records. PageRank algorithm references is the issue of 'popularity ' and adept grasp or 'prestige ' of published research that remains the major restriction of other databases like SCI through the Weighed PageRank. Popular diaries are those that are cited often by diaries could be with small prestigiousness. These diaries hence could hold a really high IF and a really low weighted PageRank. Esteemed diaries, on the contrary, are those may non be often cited, but their commendations come from extremely esteemed diaries. These diaries may hold a really low IF but a really high weighted PageRank. Analysis of diaries harmonizing to their ISI IF and their leaden PageRank shows important convergences and differences.

h-index and g-index

The h-index was introduced by Hirsch ( 2005 ) and is defined as follows: "A scientist has index H if H of his/her Np documents have at least h commendations each, and the other ( Np-h ) documents have no more than h commendations each. ''As a consequence the h-index provides a combination of both measure ( figure of documents ) and quality ( impact, or commendations to these documents) (Glanzel, 2006). Therefore, the h-index is preferred to merely mensurating the entire figure of commendations as it corrects for "one hit admirations'' , i.e. faculty members who might hold authored ( or even be the twentieth co-author of ) one or a limited figure of highly-cited documents, but have non shown an academic public presentation that has been sustained over a longer period of clip. The H index is besides preferred over a simple measuring of the figure of documents published as it corrects for documents that are non cited and hence can be argued to hold had limited impact on the field. In amount, the h-index favor faculty members that publish a uninterrupted watercourse of documents with permanent and above-average impact ( Bornmann & A ; Daniel, 2007 ) . Hirsch index therefore measures the quality and sustainability and diverseness of scientific end product and therefore addresses the jobs with the SCI where a methodological paper could bring the highest impact. A major restriction is that scientists who are really productive tend to hold lower H figure.

A disadvantage of the h-index is that it ignores the figure of commendations to each single article over and above what is needed to accomplish a certain h-index. Therefore an academic or diary with an h-index of 6 could theoretically hold a sum of 36 commendations ( 6 for each paper ) , but could besides hold more than a 5,000 commendations ( 5 documents with 1,000 commendations each and one paper with 6 commendations ) . Of class, in world these extremes will be really improbable. However, it is true that one time a paper belongs to the top H documents, its subsequent commendations no longer "count'' (Braun, 2005).

Hence, in order to give more weight to highly-cited articles Leo Egghe ( 2006 ) proposed the g-index. The g-index is defined as follows: ranked in diminishing order of the figure of commendations that they received, the g-index is the ( alone ) largest figure such that the top g articles received ( together ) at least g2 commendations. Although the g-index has non yet attracted much attending or empirical confirmation, it would look to be a really utile complement to the h-index.

The h-index and g-index have several of import advantages over the Thomson ISI JIF. First of wholly, these indices do non hold an unnaturally fixed clip skyline. Second, the h-index, and to a lesser extent the g-index, attenuates the impact of one extremely cited article, because - unlike citations-per-paper steps such as the JIF - the h-index and g-index are non based on average tonss. H-index measures the overall commendation impact of the diary, non in the commendation impact of one or two extremely cited single documents in that diary. h-index for diaries provides a robust step of sustained and lasting public presentation of diaries, instead than articles. Third, both the h-index and g-index are influenced to some extent by the figure of documents that a diary publishes. A diary that publishes a larger figure of documents has a higher likeliness of bring forthing a higher h-index and g-index since every article presents another opportunity for commendations (Saad, 2006).

The Y-factor

The Y-factor is a simple combination of both the IF and the leaden PageRank. Significantly, the writers claim that the ensuing journal rankings correspond good to a general apprehension of journal position. For illustration, while the IF superior lists five reappraisal diaries, the Y-factor column had none. Two primary research diaries Cell and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, rated extremely by equals, figure in the Y-factor list (Satyanarayana, 2010).

Faculty of 1000

Peer ranking of research documents outside the commendation figure game has besides been tried and a outstanding one being the Faculty of 1000, a subscription-based literature consciousness tool. Faculty of 1000 comprehensively and consistently high spots and reviews the most interesting documents published in subjects as biological science, medical specialty etc. , based on the recommendations of 1000s of carefully chosen research workers.

These Faculty members evaluate documents based on their perceived virtue than where they appear to germinate a consensus. The restrictions: the manner of choice of the module itself as besides the pick of documents considered to be of high quality as the diaries sample is about 1000 merely. The concluding F1000 Factor is consensual integrating the evaluations it receives and the figure of times it is selected by different Faculty Members. Outstanding work therefore gets its merited equal acknowledgment irrespective and independent of commendation counts ( Meho, 2009 ) .

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Developed by Carl Bergstrom, the Eigenfactor ( Bergstrom et al. , 2008 ) provides an on-line suite of tools that "ranks diaries much as Google ranks web sites''. The informations are taken from the Thomson Reuters databases. Available at no charge, the Eigenfactor is considered a step of the diary 's entire importance to the scientific community. The "Article Influence '' metric within the Eigenfactor is comparable to the impact factor, but that is merely one facet of the broader model.

Other initiatives

Other current enterprises include the MESUR ( MEtrics from Scholarly Usage of Resources ) undertaking supported by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, a two twelvemonth attempt to enrich "the toolkit used for the appraisal of the impact of scholarly communicating points, and hence of bookmans, with prosodies that derive from use informations'' (Banks et al., 2008). The MESUR is considered the most comprehensive attempt until now to analyze article impact rating techniques visa- six modern scholarly communicating patterns that have undergone a sea alteration over the last decennary.


While the impact factor may, in certain fortunes, be a utile subjective tool for rating journal quality, it is non appropriate for choice appraisal of single articles or writers. The impact factor is a tool whose utility is declining, but there is non yet a to the full feasible option to it. Therefore, when utilizing impact factor for comparing of diaries, cautiousness should be taken sing the built-in restrictions of impact factor.

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