Journal Impact Factor: Bibliometrics and the Journal of School Health

By Price, James H.; Jeffrey, James D., Jr. | Journal of School Health, April 2006 | Go to article overview

Journal Impact Factor: Bibliometrics and the Journal of School Health


Price, James H., Jeffrey, James D., Jr., Journal of School Health


This editorial examines journal impact factors (JIFs) and their relationship to make the Journal of School Health a more sought-after journal by those writing/studying school health-related issues. As an Editor (JP) of a journal, I sometimes approach potential authors regarding publishing their work. I remember periodically approaching health educators and asking them to submit their national conference poster or oral presentations to the journal for publication. Sometimes my colleagues would thank me for the invitation and then respectfully decline because the journal did not have a high-enough impact factor. They would state that they were going to try to publish the manuscript in a more prestigious journal, one with a higher impact factor, but if it was not accepted then they would consider this journal (Figure 1). This type of perception affects all school health-related journals. Among other problems, this step-down approach slows the publication of health research.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

Impact factors have taken on an aura of being the "gold standard" for assessing the significance of journals and individual articles. Librarians and administrators in academia use and misuse JIFs. Impact factors were created to assess how journals are affecting research in a field by examining how often articles are subsequently referenced in other studies. In essence, references are acknowledgments of intellectual debt. However, impact factors assess journals, not individual papers or authors.

The phenomena of JIF started with Eugene Garfield, PhD, then President of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). (1) He was interested in bibliometrics, the study, or measurement, of texts and information. (2) He and a partner had created (in 1961), the Science Citation Index, a publication that identified the number of times authors had their articles referenced by authors writing subsequent journal articles. They found that by sorting the most highly referenced articles, they were able to identify a core group of large and highly cited journals. These journals were often journals, which published large numbers of articles (e.g. in 2004, Journal of Biological Chemistry published 6500 articles in contrast to the Journal of School Health, which published 54 articles). (3) Thus, in order to decide which additional high-quality journals to add to their Science Citation Index or Social Sciences Citation Index, they realized that smaller journals might not be selected if they based their evaluation entirely on article publication counts for specific journals. (1) Thus, they created the JIF, which permitted them to add to the number of important journals they tracked. They now track 5968 science journals and 1712 social science journals. (3) Some journals are not included in their lists of journals because they are seen as not significantly contributing to the research in their particular field.

The JIF is the average number of citations per article for a particular journal for a particular group of years. Each year, Thomson ISI calculates JIFs based on the following formula: (3)

Impact Factor for "Journal X" in 2004

Citations in 2004 of all articles published in "Journal X" in 2002 and 2003 Number of articles published in "Journal X" in 2002 and 2003

Thomson ISI examines all the citations of articles published in "Journal X" in approximately 7600 journals in its indices to obtain the numerator of the above fraction. The denominator is the number of review articles and original research articles published by Journal X in the previous 2 years. Two years was a somewhat arbitrary time frame selected for these calculations. Journals that publish editorials, book reviews, commentaries, and teaching ideas are publishing items not counted in the denominator of the JIF fraction. The perception is that the aforementioned types of articles do not add to advancing the research of a field. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Journal Impact Factor: Bibliometrics and the Journal of School Health
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.