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(Fwd) Impact factors

Geoff Read g.read at niwa.cri.nz
Tue Oct 20 18:11:30 EST 1998

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date:          Tue, 20 Oct 1998 17:11:30 -0600
To:            g.read at niwa.cri.nz
From:          salazar at nicte-ha.ecosur-qroo.mx (Sergio Salazar Vallejo)
Subject:       Impact factors

Dear Geoff,

In a forthcoming issue of _Interciencia_, a journal issued in Venezuela, we
have a paper on biological taxonomy, impact factor and academic evaluation
for the XXI century. Yes, Luis F. Carrera-Parra and I are proposing a
reflection on these issues. (You can use this message for yourself or post
it in Annelida, if you like.)

As part of the paper, we introduced a table (below) to show that most
journals that are "improving" their impact factors are including some
experimental studies while some others, more restricted to classical
taxonomic reports, look like "low-rated" and thus "bad-quality" and then
"bad-science". This picture becomes worse if we think about other subjects
like Genetics or Molecular Biology. Since that wrong chain of judgment
might further reduce budgets for taxonomy, we reject the use of
impact-factors as the one-and-only indicator of academic
(journal/scientist) quality. Hope other colleagues don't have to face this
uneasy situation.

. . . . . . .

Tabla  1. Factor de impacto de las revistas en las que caben publicaciones
sobre taxonomía de poliquetos (modif. ISI, 1994, 25(1)); los factores de
impacto para 1989 son según Fuseler-Mcdowell. NA indica que no aparece en
esa revision; los otros valores son del Journal of Citation Reports (1993,

Table  1. Impact factor of several journals that contain papers on taxonomy
of polychaetes (modif. ISI, 1994, 25(1)); 1989 impact factors are after the
review by Fuseler-Mcdowell. NA means that such journal was not included in
that review; other figures are taken from the  Journal of Citation Reports
(1993, 1996).

Revista/ Journal 			1996		1993		1989

Zoologica Scripta			1.136		0.437		  NA
J Marine Biological
     Assoc United Kingdom	1.114		0.914		1.036
Acta Zoologica		         1.030		0.603		  NA
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Soc.	0.946		0.430		  NA
Biological Journal of the Linnean Soc.	0.932		1.427		  NA
Ophelia				        0.845		0.496		0.431
Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde		0.800		0.393		  NA
Canadian Journal of Zoology		0.685		0.735		  NA
Journal of Natural History		0.595		0.321		  NA
Bulletin of Marine Science		0.539		0.442		0.208
Helgoländer Meeresuntersuchungen	0.460		0.455		0.375
Cahiers de Biologie Marine		0.317		0.194		  NA
Proceedings of the Biological Society
    of Washington			0.245		0.246		  NA
Revista de Biología Tropical		0.076		0.067		  NA
. . . . . .

Best wishes,


 La Ciencia del Tercer Mundo no está perdida, sino ignorada.
 Third World Science is not lost (Sci. Amer. Aug. 1995:76),
  just ignored.

Sergio I. Salazar-Vallejo
Depto. Ecología Acuática
ECOSUR, Apdo. Postal 424
Chetumal QR 77000 MEXICO
salazar at ecosur-qroo.mx

Tel. (983) 20115, 21666
Fax  (983) 20447

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