Stringer MJ, Sales-Pardo M, Nunes Amaral LA (2008) Effectiveness of Journal Ranking Schemes as a Tool for Locating Information. PLoS ONE 3(2): e1683.
Electronic publishing, preprint archives, blogs, and wikis raise concerns among all stakeholders in the editorial chain about the relevance of traditional peer reviewed journals. These concerns are increased by the ability of search engines to identify and sort information. This article points out that the distribution of the number of citations to a paper published in a given journal in a specific year converges to a steady state after a journal-specific transient time, and demonstrate that in the steady state the logarithm of the number of citations has a journal-specific typical value. A model was developed to enable to quantify both the typical impact and the range of impacts of papers published in a journal. A journal-ranking scheme is proposed to maximizee the efficiency of locating high impact research.