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Impact Factor and Citation Metrics: What do they Really Mean?

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  1. Impact Factor and Citation Metrics: What do they Really Mean? Session 1206 Room 203A January 30, 2009 Debbie Chaves, Wilfrid Laurier University Brian Cameron, Ryerson University

  2. Outline • Measurement of the Business of Science • Background on various methods • Where things can go wrong • What that means for librarians

  3. Why Measure? • Security of knowledge • Predictability • Comparison analysis • Subject and domain dependent • Quantifiability fallacy

  4. Historical Background on Impact Factor Eugene Garfield, "Citation Indexes for Science: A New Dimension in Documentation through Association of Ideas," Science 122, 3159 (July 15, 1955): 108

  5. What is an Impact Factor year 2008 citations to 2006 + 2007 articles articles published in 2006 + 2007 ratio of articles published to articles cited during a rolling two-year window A/B A = citations in 2008 : articles cited in 2006-7 B = citable items published in 2006-7

  6. Your (real) Impact Factor

  7. Use of Impact Factors Collection development Choosing journals for publication Journal assessment/marketing by publishers Evaluation of scholarly research & individual performance, for purposes of tenure and promotion, and funding Evaluation of departments, institutions, and nations

  8. Problems with IF Two-year window # of journals published in discipline ISI coverage Language Publication type Not representative Journal size

  9. Other Issues Citation errors Citation clubs Citation bartering

  10. Manipulation Review articles Case studies Editorial interference

  11. h-index Hirsch, J. E. (2005). "An index to quantify an individual's scientific research output". PNAS102 (46): 16569–16572.

  12. h-index h-index, developed by Jorge Hirsch A scientist has index h if h of [their] Np papers have at least h citations each, and the other (Np - h) papers have at most h citations each.

  13. Criticisms of the h-index Comparisons Age Insensitive Context Limitations of citation databases # of authors

  14. From h to g Given a set of articles ranked in decreasing order of the number of citations that they received, the g-index is the (unique) largest number such that the top g articles received on average at least g citations.

  15. What do the numbers really mean? • Author inaccuracies • ISI calculation inaccuracies • What does an H-index of 1 really mean?

  16. Citation Game-Playing – How to make it Work for YOU! • Become famous so everyone gives you authorship on their paper • HEP in ArXve submission timing • Ride the bias – multiple authors: choose the middle • Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica: 1 articles cited all the papers published in the last 2 years for IF=1.439 compared to 0.655 • Find and ride the trend – Martin Fleischmann was once the most highly cited chemist in Britain

  17. Nature 451 2008 pg 766-767

  18. Search Web of Science for Wilfrid Laurier

  19. Wilfrid Laurier as Author in 2007?

  20. Wilfrid Laurier as Author in 2007?

  21. Ann Arbor as Author (MUCH worse in Google Scholar)

  22. Ann Arbor as Author in 2007?

  23. William H. Gates = Bill Gates

  24. Researcher ID = A-1930-2009

  25. Researcher ID Publication List

  26. Anyone can write a letter

  27. NATURE Vol 53  June 2008 pg. 718

  28. Chemistry Department Scopus H-Index 09-Feb-08 Position h-index patents total number of papers first-year publication last-year publication Publications/year president 5 0 13 1984 2008 0.54 Created Feb 9, 2008 with the faculty at that time. Dependent on information included in SCOPUS. dean science 15 0 51 1988 2008 2.55 assistant 5 0 14 1999 2007 1.75 assistant 5 0 6 1998 2007 0.67 assistant 15 2 48 1998 2007 5.33 assistant 6 0 13 1998 2007 1.44 assistant 7 0 12 1998 2007 1.33 assistant 9 0 14 2000 2005 2.80 CAS 3 0 4 1999 2002 1.33 CAS 10 33 25 1979 2007 0.89 professor 8 0 36 1967 2007 0.90 associate 7 0 17 1992 2005 1.31 CAS 0 0 2 2007 2008 2.00 CAS 17 0 24 1984 2001 1.41 Average 8 2.50 19.93 1992.21 2006.14 1.73

  29. ISI Accuracy?

  30. Sciencewatch.com

  31. Institutional Metrics http://webometrics.info

  32. What does this mean for Librarians? • Must be familiar and knowledgeable about the current calculations of Science Worthiness • International students are aware • Administrations and granting agencies will ask for these statistics but may not be aware of their limitations • Avoid the citation culture

  33. Take Home Message Avoid Disregard Syndrome  Practice Citation Vigilance