Author-weighted impact factor and reference return ratio: can we attain more equality among fields?
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Despite its problems, journal impact factor (JIF) is the most popular journal quality metric. In this paper, two simple adjustments of JIF are tested to see whether more equality among fields can be attained. In author-weighted impact factor (AWIF), the number of citations that a journal receive is divided by the number of authors in that journal. In reference return ratio (RRR), the number of citations that a journal receive is divided by the number of references in that journal. We compute JIF, AWIF and RRR of all 10,848 journals included in journal citation report 2012. Science journals outperform social science journals at JIF but social science journals outperform science journals at both AWIF and RRR. Highest level of equality between science and social science journals is attained when AWIF is used. These findings cannot be generalized when narrower subject categories are considered.