An investigation into diabetes researcher’s perceptions of the Journal Impact Factor — reconsidering evaluating research
Currently the Journal Impact Factors (JIF) attracts considerable attention as components in the evaluation of the quality of research in and between institutions. This paper reports on a questionnaire study of the publishing behaviour and researchers preferences for seeking new knowledge information and the possible influence of JIF on these variables. 54 Danish medical researchers active in the field of Diabetes research took part. We asked the researchers to prioritise a series of scientific journals with respect to which journals they prefer for publishing research and gaining new knowledge. In addition we requested the researchers to indicate whether or not the JIF of the prioritised journals has had any influence on these decisions. Furthermore we explored the perception of the researchers as to what degree the JIF could be considered a reliable, stable or objective measure for determining the scientific quality of journals. Moreover we asked the researchers to judge the applicability of JIF as a measure for doing research evaluations. One remarkable result is that app. 80% of the researchers share the opinion that JIF does indeed have an influence on which journals they would prefer for publishing. As such we found a statistically significant correlation between how the researchers ranked the journals and the JIF of the ranked journals. Another notable result is that no significant correlation exists between journals where the researchers actually have published papers and journals in which they would prefer to publish in the future measured by JIF. This could be taken as an indicator for the actual motivational influence on the publication behaviour of the researchers. That is, the impact factor actually works in our case. It seems that the researchers find it fair and reliable to use the Journal Impact Factor for research evaluation purposes.
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