Journal Metrics

In this week's issue of C&EN, Senior Editor Sophie Rovner explores the world of journal metrics. The traditional impact factor clearly has limitations, and several potential alternatives either exist or are in development. Which metric do you favor? What wild ideas do you have for measuring the significance of a journal?

Author: Rachel Pepling

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  1. A lot of the problems that I see arising from trying to rank journals and publications is from unaccessible statistics on use. With many publishers adopting the DOI system, I think it would be fairly straitforward to develop ways to use it to track things like citations, page views/downloads, etc.

  2. Well, I have my own little solution called (still a work in progress) which parses through people’s Connotea database to see what people are adding to their libraries. But, I dislike the idea of publishers making the metrics that analyze themselves, conflict-of-interest anyone?

    I think people need to target their metric more specifically to what they want answered. I know committees love to have one simple number to access scientific merit, but I’d argue that it isn’t quantifiable within the same order of magnitude.

  3. I think impact factors are only going to be meaningful for invidual articles. I’d like to see instances of people citing their own work not counted as citations. Other aspects of citations that may be worth capturing for metrication purposes include:

    a) How many other articles were cited in the citing article?
    b) Is the cited article a review?
    c) Is the citing article a review?
    d) Does the citing article criticise the cited work?