Disturbing the Universe

David L Clements, science and science fiction

Measuring the lack of impact of journal papers

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Why journal impact factor is a meaningless metric…

In the Dark

I’ve been involved in a depressing discussion on the Astronomers facebook page, part of which was about the widespread use of Journal Impact factors by appointments panels, grant agencies, promotion committees, and so on. It is argue (by some) that younger researchers should be discouraged from publishing in, e.g., the Open Journal of Astrophysics, because it doesn’t have an impact factor and they would therefore be jeopardising their research career. In fact it takes two years for new journal to acquire an impact factor so if you take this advice seriously nobody should ever publish in any new journal.

For the record, I will state that no promotion committee, grant panel or appointment process I’ve ever been involved in has even mentioned impact factors. However, it appears that some do, despite the fact that they are demonstrably worse than useless at measuring the quality of publications. You can…

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Author: davecl

Astronomy, science, science fiction

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