Journal Impact Factors for evaluating scientific performance: use of h-like indicators
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- Boell, S.K. & Wilson, C.S. Scientometrics (2010) 82: 613. doi:10.1007/s11192-010-0175-y
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This article introduces the Impact Factor squared or IF2-index, an h-like indicator of research performance. This indicator reflects the degree to which large entities such as countries and/or their states participate in top-level research in a field or subfield. The IF2-index uses the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) of research publications instead of the number of citations. This concept is applied to other h-type indexes and their results compared to the IF2-index. These JIF-based indexes are then used to assess the overall performance of cancer research in Australia and its states over 8 years from 1999 to 2006. The IF2-index has three advantages when evaluating larger research units: firstly, it provides a stable value that does not change over time, reflecting the degree to which a research unit participated in top-level research in a given year; secondly, it can be calculated closely approximating the publication date of yearly datasets; and finally, it provides an additional dimension when a full article-based citation analysis is not feasible. As the index reflects the degree of participation in top-level research it may favor larger units when units of different sizes are compared.