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Playing the Impact Factor Game

Posted by plosmedicine on 30 Mar 2009 at 23:55 GMT

Author: Jayaraman Gowrishankar
Position: Director
Institution: Centre for DNA Fingerprinting & Diagnostics, Hyderabad 500007, India
Submitted Date: June 19, 2006
Published Date: June 20, 2006
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

I read with interest your editorial "The Impact Factor Game". In a letter titled "Sprucing up One's Impact Factor" published by a colleague and myself in Nature in 1999 (401:321-322), we had indeed made much the same points as you have in highlighting the importance of the denominator in calculating the impact factor of different journals, and how some articles not counted as "source" items for the denominator had received large numbers of citations and so boosted the concerned journal's impact factor.

We had also remarked on possible methods to enhance the numerator value, such as by the inclusion of minireviews in research journals as well as by the practice of encouraging authors to cite other papers in the same journal. I do hope that the addition of your important voice in this debate will have the necessary effect in making the system more transparent and accountable.

No competing interests declared.