Research with impact

After Stephen’s posts about impact factors and the like, I have a couple of serious posts brewing. But for now (and because it’s Friday), I want to admit to my reaction today to an advert I got about a journal, which told me that I should Stand Out in my Field, and Be Visible by submitting to this journal (run by a reputable publisher). One of the reasons for publishing there was that the journal has High Impact: it’s impact factor is 1.95.

“Pah!” I thought. I’m executive editor of a journal with an impact factor over 5. In fact 5.093 (that 3 at the end is terribly important, no matter what anyone tells you). Why would I want to publish is such a lowly journal?

On the other hand, the journal has published a paper about TARDIGRADES IN SPACE. That beats impact factors any day.

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9 Responses to Research with impact

  1. steffi suhr says:

    Everyone loves tardigrades!! (No iPhone: they are *not* called “tar disgraces”.)

  2. Steve Caplan says:

    I agree that the “3” may not be important, but the .09 is crucial.

    • Bob O'H says:

      The 3 is absolutely crucial, as it puts us 0.004 above the next British Ecological Society journal. It means we’re top.

      • Mike says:

        Does ISI supply confidence limits (or credible bounds) for their IFs? You might be top, but the difference probably ain’t important.

        You should offer to write a bootstrap algorithm to calculate it for them, then bring down the system from the inside.

        As an aside, I have had an article rejected (for reasons that were reasonably reasonable) by a respectable ecological journal, where the Editor recommended I submit to a journal “that does not judge a paper’s potential impact, such as PLoS One [sic]”.

        PLOS One has a higher IF (by >1 IF unit) than the journal that rejected my work. What does that say about the ability of the Editorial team to assess future impact (over 2 years) compared to random? Perhaps this sort of comparison is a new, more appropriate use for IFs…

        • Bob O'H says:

          Even without CIs, it’s clearly not significant in any interesting sense (except that WE’RE TOP).

          There was a paper in TREE a few years ago pointing out that IFs vary between subject areas, and ecology is at the lower end (but still above statistics). PLOS One (the journal formerly known as PLoS One) publishes a lot of stuff from faster moving fields.

  3. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    I got some tardigrades once. Damn lazy teachers.

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