IMPACT FACTOR OF PERIODICALS

Alexander Berezin berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA
Fri Feb 23 21:03:47 EST 1996



On 22 Feb 1996, Cornelius Krasel wrote:

> Roman Fried (rmf at ikc.unizh.ch) wrote:
> > I heard many scientists talking about these impact factors of journals,
> > but I never saw a list.
> > 
> > Does anybody know where i can lookup these values?
> 
> The impact factor list used to be part of the Science Citation Index
> until the late 80's. Then ISI decided to publish them separately which
> lead to the lists being only rarely available since many libraries
> continued to order the Science Citation Index but would not order the
> "Journal Citation Reports" or whatever ISI started to call the list.
> However, you might be able to find it in a good university library.
> Here is a very partial list, compiled from the 1993? issue (quoting
> this is probably at the border of legality since it ignores the
> copyright of ISI; however, I might be able to claim fair use):
> 
> Anal. Biochem.				 2.139
> Annu. Rev. Biochem.			35.500
> Annu. Rev. Biophys. Biomol. Struct.	12.769
> Annu. Rev. Cell Biol.			22.756
> Annu. Rev. Genet.			11.250
> Annu. Rev. Microbiol.			 7.776
> Bio/Technology				 4.210
> Biochem. Biophys. Acta			 2.610
> Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm.		 3.583
> Biochem. J.				 3.716
> Biochem. Soc. Trans.			 1.476
> Biochemistry				 5.196
> Bioessays				 4.381
> Biol. Chem. Hoppe-Seyler		 1.839
> Biotechniques				 2.643
> CABIOS					 1.964
> Cell					33.617
> Circ. Res.				 5.105
> Circulation				 8.511
> DNA Cell Biol.				 5.385
> EMBO J.					12.634
> Endocrinology				 4.771
> Eur. J. Biochem.			 3.499
> Eur. J. Cell Biol.			 2.595
> Exp. Cell Res.				 2.839
> FASEB J.				18.213
> FEBS Lett.				 3.505
> Gene Developm.				14.270
> Genomics				 6.726
> Immunol. Today				20.274
> J. Bacteriol.				 3.702
> J. Biol. Chem.				 6.733
> J. Cell Biol. 				11.118
> J. Cell Sci.				 3.593
> J. Mol. Biol.				 5.253
> J. Neurochem.				 4.215
> Meth. Enz.				 4.671
> Microbiol. Rev.				16.121
> Mol. Cell. Biol.			 8.291
> Mol. Endocrinol.			 7.317
> Mol. Gen. Genet.			 2.941
> Mol. Microbiol.				 4.427
> Mol. Pharmacol.				 5.389
> Nature					22.139
> Naunyn-Schmiedebergs Arch. Pharmacol.	 3.227
> Neuron					15.589
> Nucl. Ac. Res.				 3.294
> Oncogene				 6.634
> Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci.			10.480
> Prog. Nucl. Ac. Res.			 9.696
> Proteins				 6.775
> Sci. Amer.				 3.850
> Science					20.967
> Trends Biochem. Sci.			15.788
> Trends Genet.				11.497
> Trends Neurosci.			15.426
> Trends Pharmacol. Sci.			 2.336
> 
> The value of impact factors is questionable. Personally I think they
> increase the competition among journals (many journals have started
> to advertise with their impact factors).
> 
> --Cornelius.
> 
> -- 
> /* Cornelius Krasel, U Wuerzburg, Dept. of Pharmacology, Versbacher Str. 9 */
> /* D-97078 Wuerzburg, Germany   email: phak004 at rzbox.uni-wuerzburg.de  SP3 */
> /* "Science is the game we play with God to find out what His rules are."  */
> 
> 

To add to my previous poster, I agree with Cornelius that 
the value of 'impact factors' is questionable. See it this
way: certain journal is decleared of 'high impact' because 
articles in it have so so many citations : hence it carries 
the'importanat science'. At first glance looks convincing. 

BUT: The problem: how do we know that the WHOLE AREA which 
is currently 'hot', 'publishable' , 'citable', etc 
is _really_ 'importnat', and not a fluff. (many cases of
this in the past).

Activity (and high citability) in certain area can't be
used to justify the importance of the are per se. This may 
simply be a fashion effect (Madonna effect, as somebody 
put it) . In solid state physics now papers on high temperature 
superconductivity are number one thing for sure; huge number of
papers (almost half of Phys.Rev), consequently huge number of 
citations. But so what ? How do we know that we are not 
doing with close circuit argument ?  I have yet to see a single 
point evidence that the whole area is NOT a Big Hot Balloon.

 Any similar commnets from molecular biologists ? (it appears 
for the unaded eye, MB was not even good enough for OJ tial).

Alex Berezin   



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