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My lab:

Four months after the last spam campaign by Nature magazine, I find more spam mail from Nature Publishing Group in my JunkMail folder. Here they go again, touting their Impact Factor to the third decimal (more scientifical that way!) and proclaiming whopping 15% and 11% leads ahead of Science and Cell, respectively. Importantly, if I were to subscribe to their content (which I either get for free online, if it's news or I already paid for as a taxpayer, if it's research papers), I'd get a 60% discount. Boy, do they desperately need to sell their dead trees:


And it's not like they wouldn't know that Thomson Reuter's 'Impact Factor'
  • is negotiable and doesn't reflect actual citation counts (source1, source2)
  • cannot be reproduced, even if it reflected actual citations (source)
  • is not statistically sound, even if it were reproducible and reflected actual citations (source)

If it helps making money, any and all scientific considerations are thrown under the bus. Perhaps not coincidentally, these campaigns started around the time when the data started showing that the IF predicts the unreliability of research papers, undermining the credibility and trustworthiness of journals such as Nature.
What can I say, 'world class' indeed
Posted on Tuesday 19 June 2012 - 09:46:09 comment: 0

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