Sunday, May 15, 2011

Impact factor and journals

Two good articles in this issue of Current science.

The first article, Correlation between h-index, EigenfactorTM and Article InfluenceTMof chemical engineering journals,discusses the various parameters for ranking the journals. Irrespective of whether one uses the impact factor, eigenfactor, article influence score or the new factors like p-index, the top four journals in chemical engineering remain the same. The popularity of eigenfactor over the impact factor is that it is available for free and is quite comprehensive.

The second article,Use made of open access journals by Indian researchers to publish their findings, is quite interesting and discusses the use of open access journals and how Indian researchers publish in it. The authors rightly point out,

Both BMC and PLoS charge article processing fees as do many other open access journals. BMC journals charge between $ 1450 and $ 1640, PLoS ONE charges $ 1350, and PLoS Medicine and PLoS Biology $ 2900 and other PLoS journals $ 2250. This could be a deterrent to most Indian and other developing country researchers.

It is certainly a deterrent for researchers like me who do experimental work. We would be better off in publishing the paper in another journal for free and using the $2000 for experimental work. The best way to make the work open access in India is not necessarily by publishing it in open access journals but by depositing the article in an institutional repository.


Anonymous said...

It is time for stop talking about different types factors (h, p, etc.) and give that time on research. Number game takes it nowhere...It gives very short time pleasure to prove why I am better than others. But in fact others do no care...and also should not care..let others talk automatically on the merit of work

Giri@iisc said...

Where is the question of proving and getting pleasure of "why I am better than others"

The indices are with respect with journals, not with respect to individuals. This is quite important because ranking of journals is essential. The impact factor of journals was originally developed to rank journals, so that the libraries can make an informed decision of what journals it should buy. No library can afford to buy all journals and thus one needs a way to rank the journals.

Please understand the post before posting your comments criticizing the indices.



Anonymous said...

Anon @midnight says
"let others talk automatically on the merit of work"

Well, the indices are based on citations, which is how others talk on the merit of work. When others talk on the merit of work, it is not in coffee boards but by citation. All indexes like h, p etc are directly related to citations.

Ankur Kulkarni said...

I suspect the Argumentative Indian Academic is obsessing too much over various indices and their meaning. I think they are meaningful enough to be not treated as trash. Why not be and let be? We don't see the leading universities of the world fret over whether the barometer that measures their goodness is perfect or not; they work with what they have.

One doesn't need a perfect world begin living.