Impact factor of medical journals: Problems in geriatrics
The Impact Factor (IF) is one of the most reliable methods for evaluating the quality of scientific journals. To date, no one has studied the IF of geriatric journals over time. Our aims were 1) to evaluate the IF trend of geriatric journals in general, and with respect to internal medicine, which is the nearest discipline, and 2) to assess the proportion of papers on common geriatric topics published in geriatric journals, with respect to other general periodicals. The current literature was studied to define what IF is and describe its good points and deficiencies. We then analyzed the situation regarding geriatric journals. A bibliometric analysis addressed the kind of journal interested in important geriatric themes (syncope, falls, hip fractures, delirium). Geriatric journals have a low IF, but their importance has been growing over the years. Despite this, papers regarding geriatric themes are published mainly in non-specific journals, and the number of publications regarding syncope, falls, hip fractures, and delirium has not increased during the period in question. In conclusion, it is difficult to use the IF for comparisons between different disciplines, in particular when the one under consideration (geriatrics and gerontology) is spread over a wide range of medical fields. The increase in IF of geriatric journals over time is the most important result of our analysis; this finding will encourage geriatric scientists to submit their papers to geriatric periodicals and will increase the specificity of the gerontological discipline.
KeywordsGerontological and geriatrics journals impact factor journal citation journal evaluation medical journals
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