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Clin Chem Lab Med. 2009;47(11):1319-24. doi: 10.1515/CCLM.2009.328.

The Journal Impact Factor: don't expect its demise any time soon.

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Department of Hematology, Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research (ICPMR), Westmead Hospital, SWAHS, Westmead, NSW, Australia.


Much emphasis continues to be placed on the Journal Impact Factor (IF), a measure of journal article citation rates, and typically used as a surrogate marker of quality of both the article and journal. The IF is both revered and reviled, and is neither a perfect nor comprehensive measure, having several limitations and being subject to easy manipulation. The IF holds 'power' for journals because it can influence their future success. Furthermore, the perceived utility of the IF has grown way beyond that of its original and still popular use as a surrogate marker of publication 'quality'. The IF is increasingly being used (i) to objectively evaluate the scientific and academic value of scientists across a wide variety of disciplines, (ii) to short-list research projects for future financial support, (iii) to short-list or select applicants for academic promotion, and (iv) by researchers to measure the success of research institutes, research funding, or even entire countries. Accordingly, despite our love-hate relationship with the IF, don't expect its demise any time soon.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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