Here is a listing of articles discussing the impact factor.
• The impact factor game
• Why the impact factor of journals should not be used for evaluating research
• The misused impact factor
• alt-metrics: a manifesto
• The mismeasurement of science
• Impact factor wars: Episode V–The Empire Strikes Back

TOO MUCH TO READ!? Well, then go for this: the top-ten in journal impact factor manipulation!
1. Requiring revision of the manuscript references section and inclusion of articles published in the editor’s journal or affiliate journals
2. Publishing summaries of articles with relevant citations to them (usually in the form of “what was published in the journal last year”)
3. Inflating self-citation through editorials and readers’ comments on published articles
4. Publishing articles that add citations to the nominator but which are not counted as “citable”
5. Publishing a larger percentage of review articles over less-cited articles, including original research and, especially, case reports
6. Rejecting negative studies, regardless of their quality
7. Rejecting confirmatory studies
8. Favoring the acceptance of articles originating from large and scientifically active research groups as well as articles with a large number of authors
9. Attracting the work of renowned scientists and leaders of research regardless of the real quality
10. Publishing mainly popular science articles that deal with “hot” topics

Source: Falagas, M., & Alexiou, V. (2008). The top-ten in journal impact factor manipulation. Archivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis, 56(4), 223-226.

Note from Biological Sciences Librarian:
During orientation programmes, it’s common to have my target audience inform me that they will search high and low in Google in the hope that some kind souls will put out the impact factors of journals they are looking for.

The good news: there is no need for that, Library subscribes to the Journal Citation Reports, its only one-click away!

Not sure about use of Journal Citation Reports? Please contact your respective subject librarian.

One Response to “The impact factor game”
  1. Well done! Indeed young scientists should be aware about this. Thanks for bringing the issue up!

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