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Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 511–514 | Cite as

The Impact Factor: Just the Facts

  • Kenneth J. ZuckerEmail author
Editorial

Calculated each year by the Web of Science® (Thomson Reuters), a journal’s impact factor (IF) for a given year is a measure of the frequency with which its recent articles are cited on average during that year. “Recent” refers to the two prior calendar years. Thus, Archives’ 2011 IF is the number of times that its 2009 and 2010 articles were cited in 2011, divided by the number of articles the Archives published in 2009 and 2010. Although the IF is the best known metric for citation analysis, there are other measures, including the Immediacy Index (II) and the Cited Half-Life (CHL). The II is a measure of how frequently the journal’s “average article” is cited the same year in which it is published. Thus, the II for a year is calculated as the number of times articles from that journal are cited during that year, divided by the number of articles that journal published that year. The CHL is a measure of the longevity of the frequency of citations to articles in the journal, that is, for how long the average article maintains its currency. The CHL for a year is determined by the time required to account for a cumulative total of 50 % of that year’s citations to the journal. The scientometrics of scholarly impact is a specialty field that is worth studying, but I retain the view, as does Brody (2012), that the IF is still a pretty damn good metric.

I had an IF fantasy for 2011. In the April 2010 issue of Archives, we published a number of review papers from the DSM-5 Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Workgroup. I figured they would attract a lot of attention. So, my fantasy was that the IF for 2011 would “soar” to at least 4.0, which would impact me far better than a White Russian or Baileys (which is as about as good as it gets for me).

Table 1 shows the IF of the sex and gender periodicals, broadly defined, for the year 2011. Alas, the IF of Archives remained stable: at 3.66 in 2010 and 3.52 in 2011. I better stick to the White Russians for now.
Table 1

Impact Factor for the year 2011: Sex- and gender-related journals (N = 72)

Journal

Impact factor

2011 total cites

2011 articles

Immediacy index

Cited half-life

Archives of Sexual Behavior

3.525

3242

118

0.720

6.5

AIDS

6.245

23156

259

1.784

6.0

Psychoneuroendocrinology

5.809

8114

164

0.860

6.0

Human Reproduction

4.475

25706

395

0.676

8.1

Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes

4.425

12690

275

1.127

5.7

Hormones and Behavior

3.865

7262

185

0.784

6.3

Menopause

3.758

3383

175

0.764

4.1

International Journal of Andrology

3.591

2838

123

0.593

5.5

Fertility and Sterility

3.564

26877

693

0.990

7.0

Journal of Sexual Medicine

3.552

5289

369

0.596

2.8

AIDS Reviews

3.512

652

20

0.450

4.7

AIDS and Behavior

3.494

3241

211

0.455

3.8

Evolution and Human Behavior

3.113

2277

42

0.524

6.7

Journal of Andrology

2.968

4202

95

0.389

8.9

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

2.873

5200

192

0.573

6.2

Sexually Transmitted Infections

2.854

4066

131

0.939

5.5

Journal of Sex Research

2.532

2121

49

0.245

9.6

Gender and Society

2.414

1787

25

0.320

>10.0

AIDS Patient Care and STDs

2.411

2126

88

0.455

4.7

Sexual Development

2.268

395

36

0.250

3.2

Psychology of Women Quarterly

2.115

2310

44

1.295

>10.0

Psychology of Men & Masculinity

2.078

573

31

0.161

5.9

Body Image

1.900

937

66

0.121

4.9

International Journal of Impotence Research

1.712

2028

42

0.214

7.6

Women’s Health Issues

1.610

918

94

0.181

5.5

AIDS Care

1.603

3625

216

0.310

5.8

AIDS Education and Prevention

1.589

1535

53

0.075

7.6

Hormone Research in Pediatrics

1.571

258

160

0.275

1.4

Journal of Women’s Health

1.569

2404

218

0.193

4.1

Culture, Health, and Sexuality

1.553

747

86

0.209

4.5

Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment

1.538

724

25

0.160

7.5

Asian Journal of Andrology

1.521

1413

124

0.685

4.5

Sex Roles

1.471

4738

134

0.246

9.6

Sexual Health

1.447

519

82

0.427

3.4

Body & Society

1.440

479

18

0.111

7.9

Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health

1.413

999

37

0.730

5.8

Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology

1.389

850

29

0.138

8.4

Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy

1.273

1312

28

0.214

9.8

International Journal of STD and AIDS

1.086

2488

183

0.235

6.3

International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health

1.060

74

41

0.073

 

Evolutionary Psychology

1.055

329

28

0.179

4.1

Women & Health

1.000

1029

45

0.089

9.1

Politics and Gender

0.875

161

15

0.000

4.6

Men and Masculinities

0.815

335

27

0.074

6.0

Gender, Place, and Culture

0.805

457

37

0.432

7.1

Journal of Child Sexual Abuse

0.747

286

38

0.053

7.1

Sexuality Research and Social Policy

0.722

200

31

0.903

4.6

Sexuality and Disability

0.717

295

32

0.062

10.0

Feminist Theory

0.711

209

17

0.294

5.7

Journal of Gender Studies

0.667

128

25

0.000

5.9

GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies

0.651

211

37

0.027

8.4

Sexualities

0.635

439

33

0.212

5.9

Feminism and Psychology

0.582

432

36

0.083

7.4

Sexual and Relationship Therapy

0.508

277

28

0.250

7.3

Journal of Men’s Health

0.484

77

30

0.067

 

Journal of Homosexuality

0.471

863

70

0.086

>10.0

Gender and Education

0.460

522

56

0.089

7.9

Signs

0.458

1155

56

0.196

>10.0

Women’s Studies International Forum

0.455

641

57

0.035

>10.0

Feminist Review

0.442

334

24

0.208

>10.0

International Journal of Sexual Health

0.356

52

24

0.167

 

differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies

0.341

176

21

0.048

9.4

Zeitschrift für Sexualforschung

0.333

54

14

1.429

 

Feminist Studies

0.239

392

25

0.000

>10.0

European Journal of Women’s Studies

0.216

229

23

0.000

5.8

Indian Journal of Gender Studies

0.212

39

17

0.000

 

Feministische Studien

0.208

24

14

0.000

 

Women and Therapy

0.172

224

27

0.333

10.0

Frontiers: Journal of Women’s Studies

0.154

74

18

0.000

 

Asian Journal of Women’s Studies

0.152

30

15

0.000

 

Australian Feminist Studies

0.141

92

26

0.038

 

Journal of the History of Sexuality

0.103

100

20

0.000

>10.0

Total Cites indicates the total number of times that each journal has been cited by all journals included in the ISI database in 2011. Immediacy Index means cites in 2011 to articles published in 2011/number of articles published in 2011. Cited half-life is the median age of its articles cited in the current year. Half of the citations to the journal are to articles published within the cited half-life

The meaning of the IF can be crudely gauged in comparative perspective: For 2011, of 2,943 Social Science journals, Archives was ranked 102nd (96th percentile). Of 109 journals classified as Psychology (Clinical), Archives was ranked 11th (90th percentile). Of 89 journals classified as Social Science, Interdisciplinary, Archives was ranked 1st. Not bad.

In previous Editorials, I have observed that there are many sex and gender journals that are not given an IF by the Web of Science®. Colleagues pointed out to me that Sexualities, a social constructionist periodical, has now been issued an IF (it’s about time, since it was first published in 1998). Its 2011 IF of .63 nested it in-between GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies and Feminism and Psychology. That seems to be the right fit (or maybe the left).

We appear to be in an era of a mini-boom of new sex and gender journals. In 2012, Journal of Language and Sexuality was launched. The American Psychological Association’s Division 44 has announced the launching of Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity (Editor, John Gonsiorek, Ph.D). The publisher Mary Ann Liebert announced the launching of LGBT Health (Editor, William Byne, M.D., Ph.D.), and Duke University Press announced the launching of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly (Editors, Paisley Currah and Susan Stryker).

On the listserv SEXNET, some colleagues expressed worry that the field is already saturated with too many journals. My view is more empirical. To quote President Bush: “Bring ‘em on.” As to the saturation problem, consider the wise, eloquent words of Donald Rumsfield: “As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns; the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

Submissions and Disposition

Figure 1 shows the number of new submissions per year between 2002 (when I became Editor) and 2012. There were 80 submissions in 2002 and 359 in 2012, a 4.5-fold increase. To assist in the handling of this marked increase, I am pleased to note that in 2013 the Archives now has 7 Associate Editors. Drs. Martin L. Lalumière and Michael C. Seto have come on board. Dr. Andrea Bradford has replaced Dr. Marta Meana, who ably served as an Associate Editor for the two prior years. The other Associate Editors Brotto, Carey, Dworkin, and Parsons have all done a superb job and have made my own life as Editor much less complicated.
Fig. 1

Number of submissions (2002–2012)

Figure 2 shows the Editorial decision data for the original submissions as a function of year (2002–2011). The percentage of manuscripts that were accepted or provisionally accepted ranged from 12.4–21.2 %; the percentage of manuscripts that were subject to major revision ranged from 28.4–47.5 %; and the percentage of manuscripts that were rejected ranged from 31.2–57.7 %.
Fig. 2

Manuscript disposition after initial submission (2002–2011)

Transitions

After serving on the Board since 2002, David L. Rowland has stepped down. He has always been immensely helpful in handling submissions pertaining to sexual dysfunction in males. He will be hard to replace. I am pleased to report that we have added 10 new members to the Board: Helen M. Conaglen, Aniruddha Das, Annelou L. C. de Vries, Baudewijntje Kreukels (after a few White Russians, I can even sort of pronounce Baudewijntje), Amy D. Lykins, Michael E. Newcomb, Pedro J. Nobre, Natalie O. Rosen, Thomas D. Steensma, and Kelly D. Suschinsky. My Managing Editor, Dr. Hayley Wood, has abandoned me in favor of motherhood (her son, Woody, is much easier to get along with than me) and has been ably replaced by Amanda Fuentes, M.A., a doctoral student in clinical psychology.

2012 was a personal transition for me. After being in the same building and same office since 1975 (I was a graduate student back then), my department moved to a new building at a new location, along Queen St. West, one of the coolest locations in Toronto. It was quite a feat packing up my office, which contained 3000 books, along with my “satellite” student offices, one of which housed the entire set of hard-copy manuscript submissions, reviews, and decision letters for Archives. My new office is about a fifth the size of my old office and the walls are not strong enough to hold bookshelves. So, I am down to about 30 books from 3000. The rest are stored in banker boxes in my basement, as I patiently wait for my 25-year-old daughter to move out already (she has some nice long walls in her bedroom). The Archives banker boxes are currently safely stored in a subbasement room at the new site, just in case.

Reference

  1. Brody, S. (2012). Impact factor: Imperfect but not yet replaceable. Scientometrics, doi: 10.1007/s11192-012-0863-x.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gender Identity Service, Child, Youth, and Family ProgramCentre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada

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