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Impact factor: Is this a true measure of quality?

Jaykaran Charan.

“Impact factor” is given to journals indexed in Science Citation Index (SCI) based on articles cited from the same in preceding two years. This is a quantitative measure, the ratio of citations of articles published in the journal in previous two years (numerator) to the total articles published in that journal in the these two years (denominator).The impact factor is considered as an index of measurement of quality of the journal, quality of research work by a researcher and quality of an article. Many academic or research institute’s and funding agencies consider impact factor as valid measure for the quality of a journal and people with publications in such high impact journals get leverage in jobs in academic and research institutes or for funds for their research. Editors of such individual journals and managers of publication houses advertise their journals on the basis of impact factors considering it as valid measure of quality of the journal. Also Researchers want to publish their articles in the journals which have high impact factors irrespective of the journals sustainability. At present an impact factor is considered as a surrogate for the quality of a journal and it is used for this purpose by majority of stake holders.

Key words: Impact Factor; Journals; Citations; Science Citation Index

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