The association between impact factors and language of general internal medicine journals

Swiss Med Wkly. 2006 Jul 8;136(27-28):441-3.


Background: We sought to determine the associations between journal country of origin and language and journal impact factor of general medicine journals.

Methods: For each "Medicine, General and Internal" journal listed in the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) Journal Citation Reports (JCR), the 2003 impact factor, language (ie, English, multiple languages [including English], or non-English), and country of origin (ie, US or non-US) were determined. The mean log impact factors of the journals by language, country of origin, and a combination of country of origin and language were compared.

Results: Of the 102 "Medicine, General and Internal" journals listed in the ISI JCR, 41 (40%) were published in the US and 83 (81%) were published in English. English-language journals had a significantly greater 2003 mean log impact factor than non-English journals and journals originating in the US had a significantly greater impact factor than journals originating elsewhere. However, the mean log impact factor of English-language journals originating in the US did not differ significantly from that of English-language journals originating elsewhere.

Conclusion: Journal impact factor is more associated with journal language (ie, English versus non-English), rather than journal country of origin.

MeSH terms

  • Bibliometrics*
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine* / statistics & numerical data
  • Journalism, Medical*
  • Language*
  • Periodicals as Topic / statistics & numerical data*