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My lab:
The journal "Epidemiology" has a series of great articles on why we need to get rid of Thomson Scientific's Impact Factor. I've reported about this ridiculously influencial number before and how irrational, stupid and detrimental to science it is (1, 2, 3). Here the links to the great Epidemiology articles (via Coturnix):
I think there's more than enough evidence that the Thomson Scientific impact factor is a pernicious invention that needs to be eradicated and replaced by a multivariate measure consisting of post-publication reviews, ratings, access statistics, citations, media coverage, link-counts, etc.

To say it with the authors at Epidemiology:
in its present format, the impact factor should be killed off, and the sooner the better.

Having a collection of impact measures will only be sensibly feasible in a large, decentralized databank in which all peer-reviewed scientific primary literature is collected, cross-referenced and stored. Of course, the algorithms for any such metric need to be transparent. The data is all there, the technology is around. Now we only need to get the word out and bring the majority of scientists behind us. If scientists are as rational as they claim, they have no choice but to follow their rationality and get on with the program

If this is so, why do we still have journals? One of the authors has the answer:

The irresistible fascination with (and picturesque uses of) a construct so scientifically weak as BIF are simple reminders that scientists are embedded in and embody culture. We are vain and contradictory human beings too [...].
Posted on Friday 09 May 2008 - 10:30:34 comment: 0

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