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Validity of the Journal Impact Factor as a measure of Importance

The impact factor is highly discipline-dependent, perhaps due to the speed with which papers get cited in a field. The percentage of total citations occurring in the first two years after publication varies highly amongst disciplines. Accordingly, one cannot compare journals across disciplines on the basis of their relative impact factors and we urge our authors that they assess the quality of the content of individual articles, not the reputation of the journal in which they are published.

 

Calculating the Journal Impact Factor

In a given year, the impact factor of a journal is the average number of citations received per paper published in that journal during the two preceding years.

The 2011 impact factor of this journal has been based on data from Google Scholar and calculated as follows:

A = the number of times articles published in 2009 and 2010 were cited by journals during 2011.
B = the total number of 'citable items' published by this  journal in 2009 and 2010. ('Citable items' are usually articles, reviews, proceedings, or notes; not editorials or Letters-to-the-Editor.)
2011 impact factor = A/B.

The 2011 impact factor is displayed in the journal header.



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