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Article: Journal impact factors do not equitably reflect academic staff performance in different medical subspecialties

TitleJournal impact factors do not equitably reflect academic staff performance in different medical subspecialties
Authors
KeywordsAcademic medicine
Bibliometrics
Medical journals
Issue Date2004
PublisherBC Decker Inc. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.bcdecker.com/productDetails.aspx?BJID=87
Citation
Journal Of Investigative Medicine, 2004, v. 52 n. 8, p. 531-536 How to Cite?
AbstractBackground: The simplest variables to quantify or an academic curriculum vitae are the impact factors (IFs) of journals in which articles have been published. As a result, these measures are increasingly used as part of academic staff assessment. The present study tests the hypotheses that IFs exhibit patterns that are consistent between journals of different specialties and that these IFs reflect the quality of staff academic performance. Methods: The IFs of a sample of journals from each of four medical specialties - medicine, oncology, genetics, and public and occupational health-were downloaded from the Science Citation Index and compared. Overall and specialty-specific journal IF frequencies were analyzed with respect to distribution patterns, averages, and skew. Results: Approximately 91% of journal IFs fell within the 0 to 5 range, with 97% being less than 10. The overall IF distribution featured a positive skew and a mean of 2.5. Separate analysis of the journal specialty subsets revealed significant differences in IF means (genetics 3.4 > oncology 3.1 > medicine 2.0 > public health 1.6; p < .006), all of which well exceeded the respective IF medians. Journals from the general medicine category exhibited both the lowest IF median (0.7) and the most positively skewed distribution. Conclusion: The distribution of IFs exhibits degrees of skew, numeric average, and spread that differ significantly between journal specialty subsets. This suggests that factors other than random variations underlie much of the IF variation between specialty journals and reduces the plausibility of a reliable correlation between IFs and the quality of academic staff performance. It is concluded that a dominant emphasis on IFs in academic recruitment and promotion may select for long-term faculty characteristics other than academic quality alone.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/78266
ISSN
2014 Impact Factor: 1.688
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 0.732
ISI Accession Number ID
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorEpstein, RJen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2010-09-06T07:40:59Z-
dc.date.available2010-09-06T07:40:59Z-
dc.date.issued2004en_HK
dc.identifier.citationJournal Of Investigative Medicine, 2004, v. 52 n. 8, p. 531-536en_HK
dc.identifier.issn1081-5589en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/78266-
dc.description.abstractBackground: The simplest variables to quantify or an academic curriculum vitae are the impact factors (IFs) of journals in which articles have been published. As a result, these measures are increasingly used as part of academic staff assessment. The present study tests the hypotheses that IFs exhibit patterns that are consistent between journals of different specialties and that these IFs reflect the quality of staff academic performance. Methods: The IFs of a sample of journals from each of four medical specialties - medicine, oncology, genetics, and public and occupational health-were downloaded from the Science Citation Index and compared. Overall and specialty-specific journal IF frequencies were analyzed with respect to distribution patterns, averages, and skew. Results: Approximately 91% of journal IFs fell within the 0 to 5 range, with 97% being less than 10. The overall IF distribution featured a positive skew and a mean of 2.5. Separate analysis of the journal specialty subsets revealed significant differences in IF means (genetics 3.4 > oncology 3.1 > medicine 2.0 > public health 1.6; p < .006), all of which well exceeded the respective IF medians. Journals from the general medicine category exhibited both the lowest IF median (0.7) and the most positively skewed distribution. Conclusion: The distribution of IFs exhibits degrees of skew, numeric average, and spread that differ significantly between journal specialty subsets. This suggests that factors other than random variations underlie much of the IF variation between specialty journals and reduces the plausibility of a reliable correlation between IFs and the quality of academic staff performance. It is concluded that a dominant emphasis on IFs in academic recruitment and promotion may select for long-term faculty characteristics other than academic quality alone.en_HK
dc.languageengen_HK
dc.publisherBC Decker Inc. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.bcdecker.com/productDetails.aspx?BJID=87en_HK
dc.relation.ispartofJournal of Investigative Medicineen_HK
dc.subjectAcademic medicineen_HK
dc.subjectBibliometricsen_HK
dc.subjectMedical journalsen_HK
dc.titleJournal impact factors do not equitably reflect academic staff performance in different medical subspecialtiesen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.openurlhttp://library.hku.hk:4550/resserv?sid=HKU:IR&issn=1081-5589&volume=52&issue=8&spage=531&epage=6&date=2004&atitle=Journal+impact+factors+do+not+equitably+reflect+academic+staff+performance+in+different+medical+subspecialtiesen_HK
dc.identifier.emailEpstein, RJ: repstein@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityEpstein, RJ=rp00501en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.pmid15682685-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-12144252910en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros102054en_HK
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-12144252910&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume52en_HK
dc.identifier.issue8en_HK
dc.identifier.spage531en_HK
dc.identifier.epage536en_HK
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000226327500018-
dc.publisher.placeCanadaen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridEpstein, RJ=34975074500en_HK

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