N – The end of impact factors . . . and journals?

“Something has just happened that will almost certainly end the tyranny of impact factors and may well mark another step towards the extinction of most scientific journals,” the former editor of the BMJ Richard Smith has blogged on bmj.com. He thinks that “article level metrics,” information attached to each article in the publications of the Public Library of Science, shift attention from journals to articles, particularly for those anxious to find a convenient and cheap way of ranking academics. “The metrics give a … much broader measure of the influence of an article,” he says (http://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2009/11/02/richard-smith-the-beginning-of-the-end-for-impact-factors-and-journals/).