2020 journal article

A CASE STUDY ON THE RELEVANCE OF THE JOURNAL IMPACT FACTOR

TRANSACTIONS OF THE ASABE, 63(2), 243–249.

By: G. Fox*, A. Fox & L. Guertault*

author keywords: Citations; Journal citation factor; Journal impact factor; Peer review; Research impact
Source: Web Of Science
Added: June 29, 2020

Highlights Publication profiles of seven highly published authors were analyzed from Google Scholar profiles. Journal impact factor (JIF) not strongly correlated to citations in the first two years after publication. Significant correlation between the number of citations in the first two years and total citations to an article. More important to submit manuscripts to journals with appropriate readership than the highest JIF. Abstract. In today’s world of research publishing, authors are typically encouraged to submit manuscripts to journals with the highest possible journal impact factor (JIF). This approach inherently assumes that the higher the JIF, the more likely the article will be cited. However, calls to move away from the JIF are becoming more common. This study analyzes the publication profiles of seven authors who are members of the Natural Resources and Environmental Systems (NRES) community of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) and who frequently publish in ASABE journals. This study hypothesized that statistically significant correlations existed between the JIF and the (1) total number of citations, (2) number of citations per year, and/or (3) number of citations in the first two years after publication. Based on 999 articles published by these seven authors from 1982 to 2018, statistically significant but fairly low to moderate correlations were observed between the JIF and the total citations, citations per year, and citations in the first two years after publication. The greatest correlation was observed between the number of citations that an article received in the first two years after publication and the number of citations per year (or the total number of citations). Therefore, ensuring an appropriate readership to generate short-term citations was more important than the JIF. When compared to high-JIF journals, there were statistically fewer citations per year and fewer citations in the first two years after publication for articles published in ASABE journals. While ASABE journal articles possess high citation longevity (i.e., cited half-life), efforts to immediately improve short-term metrics should focus on attracting high-quality research and improving article visibility. To extrapolate these findings to a wider community, future research should investigate these correlations for researchers in other ASABE technical communities and at various career stages. Keywords: Citations, Journal citation factor, Journal impact factor, Peer review, Research impact.