From Ewen Callaway in Nature News:
Beat it, impact factor! Publishing elite turns against controversial metric : Nature News & Comment
Best part – the news from ASM
“And in an editorial that will appear on 11 July in eight of its journals, the American Society for Microbiology in Washington DC will announce plans to remove the impact factor from its journals and website, as well as from marketing and advertising.
“To me, what’s essential is to purge the conversation of the impact factor,” says ASM chief executive Stefano Bertuzzi, a prominent critic of the metric. “We want to make it so tacky that people will be embarrassed just to mention it.”
This is in relation to the recent preprint I posted about a few minutes ago …
Worth a read: A simple proposal for the publication of journal citation distributions
Really important article in mBio: Causes for the Persistence of Impact Factor Mania.
Full citation : Casadevall A, Fang FC. 2014. Causes for the persistence of impact factor mania. mBio 5(2):e00064-14. doi:10.1128/mBio.00064-14.
In the article the authors discuss what they call “Impact Factor Mania” and outline what they believe the causes of it are (hyper competition for funding and jobs, paucity of objective measures of the importance of scientific work, hyper specialization of science, benefits to selected journals, benefits to scientists, national endorsements and prestige by association). They then discuss some of the problems with such mania including distortions in the scientific enterprise, inability to accurately predict impact, ignoring many important studies, limited correlation between IF and article citation, imperfection of citation rate, delay in communications, and creation of perverse incentives. They discuss some of the existing proposals for reform including DORA and a boycott of high impact journals. And finally they discuss what scientists can do including: reforming criteria for funding and promotion, use of diverse metrics, increase interdisciplinary interactions, encourage elite journals to become less elite, and a return to essential scientific values.
The article is a perfect follow up on our recent “Publish or Perish” meeting.