Factors affecting journal submission numbers: Impact factor and peer review reputation - Gaston - - Learned Publishing - Wiley Online Library
mdelhaye's bookmarks 2020-01-26
Previous research has found that researchers rank journal reputation and impact factor (IF) amongst the key selection criteria when choosing where to submit. We explored the actual effect upon submission numbers of several possible factors. We retrieved 10 years of submission data from over a thousand journals, as well as data on IF, retractions, and other factors. We performed statistical analysis and identified correlations. We also undertook case study research on the 55 most significant submission decreases. We found a statistically significant correlation between changes in IF, ISI percentage ranking, and changes in submissions numbers in subsequent years. We also found a statistically significant effect on submission numbers in the year following the publication of a retraction. Our case studies identified other factors, including negative feedback on the peer review process. Our findings regarding IF confirm previous indications about the significance of IF on submissions. We explain the correlation with retractions through the concept of ‘peer review reputation’. These results indicate that editors and publishers need to focus on a journal's peer review practices, as well as a journal's IF, if they are to maintain and grow submissions.