The Impact Factor Game

  • The PLoS Medicine Editors
  • Published: June 06, 2006
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0030291

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Higher Impact Factor Does Not Mean Smarter

Posted by plosmedicine on 30 Mar 2009 at 23:56 GMT

Author: Haitham Idriss
Position: Editor-in-Chief
Institution: Annals of Alquds Medicine
Submitted Date: July 03, 2006
Published Date: July 3, 2006
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

I highly agree it is time to find a more objective system than the current impact factor one.

As an aspiring prospective research group leader in the biomedical sciences I had to frequently query decisions about applications for appointment as a group leader in the UK, which mainly focused on the issue that I had the right number of publications, but most were not in 'high impact' journals.

I often directed my research publications to journals where I thought they thematically belonged, regardless of what impact factor the journal had. I think if we start again looking at the actual content of publications, rather than the impact factor of the publishing journal, we should arrive at a less biased assesement system. After all, in my view major journals with very high impact factor publish utter nonsense, which in time will show as irrational work of misguided human beings. I also learnt a fair deal from papers published in journals with modest impact factors.

No competing interests declared.