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The Journal Impact Factor: Moving Toward an Alternative and Combined Scientometric Approach

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      Abstract

      The Journal Impact Factor (JIF) is a single citation metric, which is widely employed for ranking journals and choosing target journals, but is also misused as the proxy of the quality of individual articles and academic achievements of authors. This article analyzes Scopus-based publication activity on the JIF and overviews some of the numerous misuses of the JIF, global initiatives to overcome the ‘obsession’ with impact factors, and emerging strategies to revise the concept of the scholarly impact. The growing number of articles on the JIF, most of which are in English, reflects interest of experts in journal editing and scientometrics toward its uses, misuses, and options to overcome related problems. Solely displaying values of the JIFs on the journal websites is criticized by experts as these average metrics do not reflect skewness of citation distribution of individual articles. Emerging strategies suggest to complement the JIFs with citation plots and alternative metrics, reflecting uses of individual articles in terms of downloads and distribution of related information through social media and networking platforms. It is also proposed to revise the original formula of the JIF calculation and embrace the concept of the impact and importance of individual articles. The latter is largely dependent on ethical soundness of the journal instructions, proper editing and structuring of articles, efforts to promote related information through social media, and endorsements of professional societies.

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      Most cited references 64

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      The history and meaning of the journal impact factor.

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        Bibliometrics: The Leiden Manifesto for research metrics.

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          A Principal Component Analysis of 39 Scientific Impact Measures

          Background 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. Methodology 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. Conclusions 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.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Departments of Rheumatology and Research and Development, Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust (Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham, UK), Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley, West Midlands, UK.
            [2 ]South Kazakhstan State Pharmaceutical Academy, Shymkent, Kazakhstan.
            [3 ]Department of Biochemistry, Biology and Microbiology, South Kazakhstan State Pharmaceutical Academy, Shymkent, Kazakhstan.
            [4 ]Department of Economy and Financial Management, Kuban State Technologiсal University, Krasnodar, Russian Federation.
            [5 ]Department of Development and Exploitation of Oil and Gas Fields, Industrial University of Tyumen, Tyumen, Russian Federation.
            [6 ]Arthritis Research UK Epidemiology Unit, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.
            Author notes
            Address for Correspondence: Armen Yuri Gasparyan, MD. Departments of Rheumatology and Research and Development, Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust (Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham, UK), Russells Hall Hospital, Pensnett Road, Dudley DY1 2HQ, West Midlands, UK. a.gasparyan@ 123456gmail.com
            Journal
            J Korean Med Sci
            J. Korean Med. Sci
            JKMS
            Journal of Korean Medical Science
            The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences
            1011-8934
            1598-6357
            February 2017
            12 December 2016
            : 32
            : 2
            : 173-179
            28049225
            5219980
            10.3346/jkms.2017.32.2.173
            © 2017 The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences.

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

            Categories
            Opinion
            Editing, Writing & Publishing

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