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Jesus Dapena
04-19-1996, 08:27 AM
Dear Biomch-Lers:

Paolo Deleva recently asked for recommendations with respect to
journals to acquire for a library (other than J. Biomechanics and J. of
Applied Biomechanics). In my own response to Paolo, I said:

> In order of importance, in my opinion:
>

> (1) Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (USA)
>

> (2) Journal of Human Movement Studies (Australia)
>

> (3) Journal of Sport Sciences.(Great Britain)

But then I asked myself, what did I base that ORDER on? Well, it
was based on the number of good articles ***that I remembered having read***
in those journals. I now realize that this was not a very fair way to judge
those journals, since I am personally subscribed to MSSE (through my
membership in ACSM), but not to JHMS nor JSS., so I am far more likely to
stumble onto good papers in the first journal than in the other two, since I
read the former more often!

So I tried to be a little more objective. I looked at the issues
from the past three years in Journal of Biomechanics, Medicine and Science
in Sports and Exercise, Journal of Applied Biomechanics and Journal of
Sports Sciences, and I made a (rough!) analysis of the numbers of papers
***in the area of SPORT biomechanics***. (I was not able to do the same
with Journal of Human Movement Studies, Clinical Biomechanics or Journal of
Ageing and Physical Activities --also mentioned in Paolo's summary of
responses--, because none of them are currently carried by our library.)

First of all, something about these journals. Practically all the
articles published in J.Appl.Biomech. are in sport biomechanics. ALL the
articles published in J.Biomech. are in biomechanics, but the purely sport
biomechanics articles share the journal with many papers in other subareas
within biomechanics (such as orthopedics or cell biomechanics); there are
also papers that are applicable to all areas of biomechanics (such as papers
on methodology, e.g. filming methods, segmental parameters, smoothing
techniques, etc.) --I included these also in the count as "papers in sport
biomechanics". In J.Sports Sci. and Med.Sci.Sports Exerc., pretty much all
the biomechanics papers are SPORT or biomechanics papers, but they share the
journal space with many papers in other areas of exercise science (such as
exercise physiology).


I counted full papers and also technical notes on sport and exercise
(including all forms of gait). I also counted papers on methodology
applicable to sport biomechanics. But I did NOT count abstracts from
conferences. I had to make some judgement calls on whether an article
should be classified as a sport biomechanics article or not, but I tried to
be as consistent as possible in the four journals. Some articles I
classified as clearly IN sport biomechanics; others as more or less RELATED
to sport biomechanics.

OK, here are the results, expressed as the average number of
articles per year, rounded off to the closest whole number:

in sport biomech. ~related to sport biomech.
J.Appl.Biomech. 26/year 0/year
J.Biomech. 15/year 3/year
J.Sports.Sci. 9/year 3/year
Med.Sci.Sports Exerc. 8/year 4/year

Here is a breakdown of the "in" sport biomechanics articles into
studies of sport biomechanics itself and studies of methodology applicable
to sport biomechanics:

in sport biomech. itself methodology
J.Appl.Biomech. 22/year 4/year
J.Biomech. 10/year 5/year
J.Sports.Sci. 9/year 0/year
Med.Sci.Sports Exerc. 8/year 0/year

Please don't take these numbers as perfect values; they are only
rough figures, although they do give a fairly good feel of what you should
expect to get in the course of an average year.


Note also that quantity is not everything; the QUALITY of the papers
is extremely important too, and not all four journals have the same average
level of quality. In my opinion, all four journals publish papers that are
"top-of-the-line". But while some of them restrict themselves to publishing
ONLY the very best, others publish in addition some lower quality papers.
Apart from the damage to the world's forests, I don't have much of a problem
with this; I just know that I will have to pick and choose which papers to
read and which not to read. (It is also true that often there are useful
data even in a bad paper.) I will leave it up to the readers to decide by
themselves with respect to the relative levels of quality of the papers in
the four journals.

Jesus Dapena
---
Jesus Dapena
Department of Kinesiology
Indiana University

Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
1-812-855-8407
dapena@valeri.hper.indiana.edu
http://ezinfo.ucs.indiana.edu/~dapena