The first e-mail report I received about a journal IF this year was for the History of Psychology. This is a rule of thumb. They just don’t change much. (Yes, the most frequent number of citations for the articles published in 2010 and 2011 was zero — for about 15 percent of the papers.) JavaScript is currently disabled, this site works much better if you Rounded to one decimal place, the humdrum constancy of the IF for most journals I have examined produces ennui. Another measure might  be the number of papers with greater than X citations (where reasonable individuals can disagree on what X should be). It is often used to compare journals of the same category. We use technologies, such as cookies, to customize content and advertising, to provide social media features and to analyse traffic to the site. Rounding to two places is sometimes done — 4.54 in this case — but why would anyone ever round to three decimal places — to thousandths — after dividing one whole number by another one? The correspondent reported that she had received “fantastic news” because “the 2012 impact factors have been released, and … History of Psychology has received a rating of .750. We also share information about your use of our site with our analytics partners. Still, the fact that all our journals go to all our members is a strong reason to want to publish in APS journals even if they had low impact factors (and they don’t). It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Consider, however, its derivation: The number of citations in 2012 to articles published in the previous two years (a whole number, of course — it was 2344 for PS), divided by the number of articles published in PS in those two prior years (another whole number — 516). I have been hard on IF, but let me play devil’s advocate and admit that IF, even with its flaws, captures something real about journal quality. As the U.S. Congress worked to develop the country’s budget for fiscal year 2021, behavioral science landed critical mentions among lawmakers’ priorities, a reflection of APS’s advocacy work with policymakers. In addition, researchers have devised other ways of measuring journal impact, the most important being Eigenfactor scores, perhaps the topic for a different column. For 2012 they are Psychological Bulletin (15.575) and Annual Review of Psychology (15.265), so by this measure the impact of these two is about the same. Because the chapters are handpicked and written by leaders in the field, it would be a wonder if Annual Review chapters were not highly cited. The 2020 Edition of the Journal Citation Reports® (JCR) published by Clarivate Analytics provides a combination of impact and influence metrics from 2019 Web of Science source data. Some fields simply do not lend themselves to high citation counts (psychophysics, animal learning, and history of psychology come to mind). Most scientific papers are not cited much, but a few are cited a huge number of times. So dividing 2344 by 516 gives the IF. ...you'll find more products in the shopping cart. I have been examining (and sometimes collecting) citations for one reason or another for 35 years, and their distributions are always staggeringly skewed in a positive direction. Journal receiving its first impact factor: Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal. But by the rules of rounding we all learned somewhere around fourth grade — round to one decimal place more than the raw data — the proper IF is 4.5. The point is that it is the paper, not the journal, which counts for evaluating individual papers. For Psychological Science in 2012, the median impact score is 3.0 and the mode is 0.0. That might be correlated (albeit imperfectly) with the IFs of the journals in which the candidate publishes, but the focus should be squarely on the candidate and her/his work, not on correlated factors like journals where the candidate publishes. The highest cited paper was the “false positive” paper by Simmons, Nelson, and Simonsohn published in 2011 (69 citations). Measures of impact should be relative to those in the field in which the researcher works. Thomson Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) uses the Journal Citation Report as one measure of the impact a journal has. Have free table of contents alerts for your journals of choice delivered directly to your inbox. I certainly take citations seriously; they indicate at least to some degree the impact and worth of a paper. Thus, when one considers a change in the IF across years, this may be due to the presence (or absence) of just a few highly cited papers in the last two years, not an overall shift in the distribution. This is true of psychology journals and publications. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Why not, by this algorithm, use 4.5426356 as IF? More critical is the fact that its creators apparently missed the first two weeks of Basic Statistics: If a distribution is strongly skewed, the mean of the distribution provides a measure of central tendency that can be greatly affected by some dramatic outliers. I have also heard that journal IFs may be used in making funding decisions. Let’s consider the top two general psychology journals in terms of impact factor for 2012. It would be shameless if the provided reference was not directly relevant, but that isn’t the case here. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. The highest cited paper was the “false positive” paper by Simmons, Nelson, and Simonsohn published in 2011 (69 citations). He is an APS Past President and chair of the APS Publications Committee. Excellent Article! Impact Factors are used to measure the importance of a journal by calculating the number of times selected articles are cited within the last few years. (Yes, the most frequent number of citations for the articles published in 2010 and 2011 was zero — for about 15 percent of the papers.) http://www.frontiersin.org/Human_Neuroscience/10.3389/fnhum.2013.00291/full, Honestly, Bjoorn Brembs, that is pretty shameless…. The researchers become “highly cited” because a small subset of their papers are cited at very high rates. As noted above, if the journals in which the candidate is publishing are not among the top as measured by IF, there may be a perfectly valid explanation; the candidate may be publishing in the top journals of her subfield. Henry L. Roediger, III is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor at Washington University in St. Louis and. © 2020 Springer Nature Switzerland AG. One hundred is probably as good a number as any other for psychology, although of course the number of years since publication should be taken into account (a paper that reaches 100 in three years is different from one that takes 12 years). Researchers consider a number of factors in deciding where to publish their research, such as journal reputation, readership and community, speed of publication, and citations. The APS journals currently go to all 25,000 members (electronically or on paper), providing a huge potential readership relative to virtually all other psychology journals.

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