Chasing Impact Factors

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Publication is central to the advancement of scientific knowledge.

You can also help get you promotion and fame if you get them in percieved to be good journals. However, you can also be threatened with extinction, if you do not publish in high (anything above 5 is high most are about 2 or below, but my Bosses wants 7) impact factor journals. Therefore you put your papers in them, if possible or else!

You need these so the University can use them for the Research Excellence Framework. This will dictate the financial return for the University from the UK Government.

The journals with high impact factor can then charge a premium for open access and other publication charges and subscriptions.

Therefore I was reasonably happy to get a paper in Cell Transplantation, which is a medical journal from a New York publisher that specialises in stem cell work. In recent years, its impact factor has been growing rapidly. In 2006, it was 3.5 In 2010, it had almost doubled to 6.2

It is also open access so just what the government wants us to do. Whilst this made it an attractive target to publish in. It turns out that the meteoric rise was due to a publishing cartel.

There were two papers in the Medical Science Monitor, and The Scientific World Journal. that gave hundreds of citations to Cell Transplantation. Problem is that 3 or 4 authors on these papers were on the editorial board of Cell Transplantation. Remove the two articles and the journal’s impact factor drops from 6.2 to 4.1.

They did it again for 2011 and got caught. The impact factor was withdrawn and now the journal is worth a big fat 0 and years of work down the toilet as far as the University is concerned. However, the data stands and knowledge moves forward.

 
The citation for one journal (red) in the reference list

Therefore you can see there is corruption, or is it manipulating the system, at many levels in Science.

Have no fear G will always be here as Clinical trials attract loads of citations that affect Impact Factor so Neuros don’t have troubles getting very high impact factor papers. New England Journal of Medicine has an impact factor of 53.

About the author

MouseDoctor

7 comments

  • Anon wrote
    Oh no, MD, that can'be true – the blog would't be the same without you. Are austerity cuts hitting so hard in London? Shame.

    Deleted by mistake-sorry

  • Thanks for the ego massage. I have no plan on going ….they are making people redundent at Queen Mary at the moment it is all over the web.
    What next?

    Austerity is biting every where and not just in London. We need a philantropist… just like all MS labs do.

  • Upset over the dip in IF for JNI or in fact for most journals. Wonder what's going on in that side of the world.

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