Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Does Impact Factor of a Journal Reflect anything Concerning Its Scientific Significance?

Version 1 : Received: 2 November 2020 / Approved: 3 November 2020 / Online: 3 November 2020 (15:02:52 CET)

How to cite: Klebanov, L.; Kuvaeva, Y.; Volkovich, Z. Does Impact Factor of a Journal Reflect anything Concerning Its Scientific Significance?. Preprints 2020, 2020110164 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202011.0164.v1). Klebanov, L.; Kuvaeva, Y.; Volkovich, Z. Does Impact Factor of a Journal Reflect anything Concerning Its Scientific Significance?. Preprints 2020, 2020110164 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202011.0164.v1).

Abstract

This article is devoted to discussing the famous Impact factor citation suited to indicate the published scientific result's significance. Considering this problem based on the available statistical data, we demonstrate that: Impact factor follows a distribution having a heavy power tail that may lead to inconsistency in scientifically comparable journals' evaluation. Further, we remark that many papers recognized as sleeping and seemingly sleeping beauties are not considered when calculating. This makes the impact factor unsuitable in evaluating the original, groundbreaking discoveries and their consequences. Due to permanent changes in the composition of the underlying datasets, the impact factor can not be considered as a reliable indicator and to be used as a consistent evaluation metric. Overall, discussing all represented impact factor obstacles and other appropriate considerations, we conclude that the considered index can hardly be used as a reliable estimator of the publication's significance.

Subject Areas

impact factor; scientific significance; heavy tails; sleeping beauties

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