Three articles on impact factor in BMJ

Brown H. 2007. How impact factors changed medical publishing and science. BMJ. 334:561-564.

Journal rankings can be maximised by keeping the number of scholarly articles as small as possible, and boosting review content can make journals perform better. But minor manipulation of journal content is not the issue causing concern: ignorance persists about what impact factors can and cannot do, especially in regard to guiding decisions on researchfunding.

Williams G, Hobbs R. 2007. Should we ditch impact factors? BMJ 334:568-569.

Should we get rid of impact factors, or is refining them the answer? One argument is that they don’t measure quality: every scientist knows that the vagaries of peer review can push a “not so good” paper into a “good” journal, and vice versa. Though bibliometric scoring will be driving theUK’s research assessment exercise, we want journals to publish material that has been filtered to ensure it is reliable, interesting, relevant, or important – and that reading it results in some wider benefit.

Martyn C. 2007. Advice to a new editor. BMJ.334:586.
Tongue in cheek advice on, above all, maximising the (medical) journals impact factor. Although you’ll probably produce a journal that is widely read and enjoyed, you’ll never impress the sort of people who prefer a number to thinking for themselves.

posted for M. Cooter