B – Journal rank and study impact

Brembs B, Button K, Munafò M. Deep impact: unintended consequences of journal rank. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 2013;7:291
(doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00291)

So far, contributions to the debate concerning the limitations of journal rank as a scientific impact assessment tool have either lacked data, or relied on only a few studies. In this review, authors present the most recent and pertinent data on the consequences of institutionalizing journal rank as an impact measure. These data corroborate previous hypotheses: using journal rank as an assessment tool is bad scientific practice. They argue that a higher journal ranking does not always point to greater scientific impact, and that universities may have hired and promoted researchers who were savvy at getting their articles published in top journals though their research was iffy, and removed researchers who were not that savvy.