Impact Factor, a Scientific Level Determiner Indexes

Impact Factor, a Scientific Level Determiner

One of the metrics that determine the scientific level and authenticity of journals is the impact factor.

Nowadays, it is undeniable fact that the academic societies and universities need to publish their articles in English journals possessing a high scientific degree or idiomatically high prestige. The impact factor is one of the standards determining the scientific prestige of the journals. Therefore, most of the researchers are interested to publish their papers in a journal which has a high impact factor. Consequently, regarding the aforementioned reasons, there is a probability of using the impact factor of a journal in right or wrong ways. In this article, some right or wrong ways of using impact factors are taken into consideration.

The wrong or right uses of the journals’ impact factors:

  1. Determining the scientific prestige of a journal

When researchers intend to choose a journal in order to publish their study, they have lots of choices. The Impact Factor or IF is one of the most important yardsticks in evaluating the authenticity level of the journals, that helps the researchers to identify the scientific position of the journals. As a rule of thumb, the higher the impact factor of a journal, the higher its scientific prestige and quality. Therefore, determining the scientific prestige of a journal is one of the right implications of the impact factor.

  1. Choosing journals for libraries

Today, there are thousands of journals which are willing to be among the journals in the authentic and popular libraries. The impact factor gives the opportunity to the librarians to make good choices among various and volunteer journals and select the journals having a high impact factor. So, this can be listed as another right implication of the impact factors.

  1. Scientific and academic evaluation

Sometimes, when university deans intend to grant a student a scholarship or other kinds of benefits, or when they want to promote someone to a higher scientific position, they consider the impact factors of the journals that the person has published her/his study. In a way that, if that person has published her/his study in a journal with a high impact factor, the principals consider this as the scientific value of the person’s studies, and make a decision based on that. Whereas, if a person has published some studies in several journals without impact factor, or has other scientific studies instead of papers, will lose the competition to their rivals. We should keep in mind that the impact factor of a journal does not indicate the impact factor of a paper, because IF belongs to the journal which has published the study. Sometimes, it has been observed that a journal owes its high impact factor to the names of some outstanding authors that have been listed in their archive or background, and the other papers do not make considerable changes in the impact factor of the journal. Therefore, considering the impact factor, cannot be the only metric to decide on the scientific status of an individual. As a result, using impact factor as a tool for scientific and academic evaluation can be listed as one of the wrong implications of the impact factors.

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