Rank-normalized journal impact factor as a predictive tool
Citation data accumulated on articles from the top and bottom 25 of impact factor (IF)-ranked international journals are compared using 59 international geoscience journals from 1998 and 378 Polish geological papers from 1989-994. There is a minor risk of being uncited when results are published in high-IF periodicals as the average non-citation rate is 0.88 over a 10-year period in this not very rapidly developing scientific discipline. Similarly, the established error levels in the prognosis of expected citation success versus failure based on the extreme IF quartiles as an evaluation tool is low (at most 12.5). Thus the application of the rank-normalized journal IF as a proxy of real citation frequency and, accordingly, as a predictive tool in the a priori qualification of recently published publications is a rational time- and cost-saving alternative (or at least a significant supplement) to traditional informed peer review. Blanket criticism of using IF for decisions in research funding is therefore at least partly exaggerated.
Keywordsimpact factor citation scientific quality research funding
Institute for Scientific Information in Philadelphia
journal impact factor
number of articles
median citation value.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Franck G (1999) Scientific communication — a vanity fair?. Science 286:53, 55Google Scholar
- Garfield E (1983) How to use citation analysis for faculty evaluations, and when is relevant? Parts 1 and 2. Essays Inf Scientist 6:354-72 (available via http://www.garfield.library.upenn.edu/essays/v6p354y1983.pdf; http://www.garfield.library.upenn.edu/essays/v6p363y1983.pdf)
- Garfield E (1991) To be an uncited scientist is no cause for shame. Essays Inf Scientist 14:390-91 (available via http://www.garfield.library.upenn.edu/essays/v14p390y1991.pdf)
- Garfield E (2000) Use of Journal Citation Reports and Journal Performance Indicators in measuring short and long term journal impact. Croatian Med J 41:368-74 (available via http://www.garfield.library.upenn.edu/papers/croatianmedj41(4)p368-374y2000.pdf)Google Scholar
- Garfield E (2003) The meaning of the Impact Factor. Rev Int Psicol Clinica Salud 3:363-69 (available via http://garfield.library.upenn.edu/papers/meaningofif2003.pdf)Google Scholar
- Kabala ZJ (1998) Know thy journals (available via http://www.agu.org/eos_elec/98073e.html)
- Łomnicki A (2003) Impact factors reward and promote excellence — the system is unkind but effective. Others would do less good for developing countries. Nature 424: 487Google Scholar
- Pudovkin AI, Garfield E (2004) Rank-normalized Impact Factor: A way to compare journal performance across subject categories. Proceedings of the 67th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 041:507-15Google Scholar
- Racki G (2002) Parametryczny system oceny jednostek naukowych przez KBN: prognozy i postulaty. Zagadnienia Naukoznawstwa 38: 51-8Google Scholar
- Rothwell PM, Martyn CN (2000) Reproducibility of peer review in clinical neuroscience. Is agreement between reviewers any greater than would be expected by chance alone? Brain 123: 1964-969Google Scholar
- Seglen PO (1997) Why the Impact Factor of journals should not be used for evaluating research?. BMJ 124: 498-0225Google Scholar
- Żlicz M (1999) Biologia molekularna w Polsce. Sprawy Nauki 2: 15-8Google Scholar