A proposal for a novel impact factor as an alternative to the JCR impact factor

Sci Rep. 2013 Dec 3;3:3410. doi: 10.1038/srep03410.

Abstract

One disadvantage of the JCR impact factor, the most commonly used assessment tool for ranking and evaluating scientific journals, is its inability in distinguishing among different shapes of citation distribution curves, leading to unfair evaluation of journals in some cases. This paper aims to put forward an alternative impact factor (IF') that can properly reflect citation distributions. The two impact factors are linearly and positively correlated, and have roughly the same order of magnitude. Because of the ability of IF' in distinguishing among different shapes of citation distribution curves, IF' may properly reflect the academic performance of a scientific journal in a way that is different from the JCR impact factor with some unique features that reward journals with highly cited papers. Therefore, it is suggested that IF' could be used to complement the JCR impact factor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't