, Volume 20, Issue 10, pp 385-386
Date: 04 Sep 2012

Journal impact factor: holy grail?

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Currently, the scientific community uses several bibliometric indices to define the impact of a scientific publication and the journal in which it was published. One of these parameters is the science citation index, a valid way to assist librarians in managing bibliographic control and costs effectively. The citation index quantifies the number of citations a particular publication receives. In turn, this information is used to calculate a journal-specific parameter, the journal impact factor [1, 2]. The impact factor is defined as the average number of citations received per paper published in a specific journal during the preceding 2 years. These two parameters have since evolved differently from their original intention: both are used as quantifiable measures of quality, of the scientist and of the journal in which the scientist publishes. A third parameter, the so-called H-index, is an alternative to the citation index. The H (or Hirsch) index attempts to measure both the producti