View Full Version : Impact Factors: Summary

Alex Kerin
09-16-1996, 09:26 PM
A while back I posted an article concerning the whereabouts of journal
impact factors. I have had several requests for information on these,
so what follows is what I have managed to glean:

The Impact factors are available from most university libraries, as
they should have a copy of the "Science Citation Index, Journal
Citation Reports" from the Institute for Scientific Information. The
ISI can be contacted on (correct for 1992)

USA: 215 386 0100
Europe: +44 (0)1895 270016 (Brunel University)

In the index there are several indicators of a journals worth,

the number of articles published in the journal to date.
no. of times journal was cited.
no. of articles cited in the year of publication (immediacy index).
impact factors - average number of current citations to articles in a
journal over the last two years.
and other indicators.

On the issue of the use of impact factors, I have entered into several
discussions with other Biomech-L members. There is an opinion that you
have to take care when using these, as obviously a journal publishing
controversial or flawed papers could have as high an impact factor as a
journal publishing only very good articles. The best use of them is as
an indication of the audience that the journal reaches.

I stated this in my original article, and I re-emphasise it, should the
ISI be 'listening', surely information like this should be available on
the WWW.

Thankyou for your replies to my original posting,

Alex Kerin.
University of Bristol
School of Veterinary Science
Southwell Street
Bristol. BS2 8EJ
email: A.Kerin@bristol.ac.uk
Voice: +44 (0)117 9288792