‘Undue reliance’ on journal impact factor in academic evaluation | Times Higher Education (THE)
peter.suber's bookmarks 2019-04-18
"At least one in three research-intensive universities in North America examined by a study leaned on the journal impact factor of periodicals that academics had published in when making decisions on promotion and tenure, but the true proportion may be much higher.
The study, believed to be the first to examine the use of the journal impact factor in academic performance reviews, warns that there is an “undue reliance” on the controversial metric....
Among the documents from 57 research-intensive institutions considered by the study, 23 (40 per cent) referred to journal impact factors, with 19 of these mentions (83 per cent of the subtotal) being supportive. Only three of the mentions expressed caution about use of journal impact factors.
Of the documents that did refer to journal impact factors, 14 associated the metric with research quality, while eight tied it to impact and a further five referred to prestige or reputation.
The overall results, including large numbers of universities that offer few doctoral degrees, found that 23 per cent of review, promotion and tenure policies mentioned the journal impact factor, with 87 per cent of these mentions being supportive...."