Rethinking impact factors: better ways to judge a journal |

From Paul Wouters et al. in


Global efforts are afoot to create a constructive role for journal metrics in scholarly publishing and to displace the dominance of impact factors in the assessment of research. To this end, a group of bibliometric and evaluation specialists, scientists, publishers, scientific societies and research-analytics providers are working to hammer out a broader suite of journal indicators, and other ways to judge a journal’s qualities. It is a challenging task: our interests vary and often conflict, and change requires a concerted effort across publishing, academia, funding agencies, policymakers and providers of bibliometric data.

Here we call for the essential elements of this change: expansion of indicators to cover all functions of scholarly journals, a set of principles to govern their use and the creation of a governing body to maintain these standards and their relevance.

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