Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


+ - Science Journal Impact Factors Exposed

Submitted by
reptilicus writes "Pretty damning article published this week in the Journal of Cell Biology showing that Thomson Scientific (formerly ISI) cant produce the data that they use to determine journal Impact Factors. The Rockefeller University Press, which publishes JCB bought their own data back from Thomson as part of an analysis of their properties. Much to their surprise, the data didnt add up to the impact factor that Thomson has declared for their journals. This led to the revelation that Thomson keeps two sets of books, but neither of these sets of figures matched up with the Impact Factors. As the article notes, If an author is unable to produce original data to verify a figure in one of our papers, we revoke the acceptance of the paper.

While Impact Factors play a big role for those of us in the publishing game, theyre probably even more important to the working scientist, as job offers, promotions, tenure and grant funding are all often determined by ones record of publishing in journals with high Impact Factors. This harkens back to a PLOS Medicine editorial from 2006, where they noted that in their opinion, determining a journals Impact Factor is unscientific and arbitrary.

As both articles note, perhaps its time to re-examine such measurements, and start using more scientific and meaningful tools to determine the value of a given publication."

Money may buy friendship but money cannot buy love.