» Just how widespread are impact factor negotiations?

peter.suber's bookmarks 2021-07-18


"Over the last decade or two, there have been multiple accounts of how publishers have negotiated the impact factors of their journals with the “Institute for Scientific Information” (ISI), both before it was bought by Thomson Reuters and after. This is commonly done by negotiating the articles in the denominator. To my knowledge, the first ones to point out that this may be going on for at least hundreds of journals were Moed and van Leeuven as early as 1995 (and with more data again in 1996). One of the first accounts to show how a single journal accomplished this feat were Baylis et al. in 1999 with their example of FASEB journal managing to convince the ISI to remove their conference abstracts from the denominator, leading to a jump in its impact factor from 0.24 in 1988 to 18.3 in 1989. Another well-documented case is that of Current Biology whose impact factor increased by 40% after acquisition by Elsevier in 2001. To my knowledge the first and so far only openly disclosed case of such negotiations was PLoS Medicine’s editorial about their negotiations with Thomson Reuters in 2006, where the negotiation range spanned 2-11 (they settled for 8.4). Obviously, such direct evidence of negotiations is exceedingly rare and usually publishers are quick to point out that they never would be ‘negotiating’ with Thomson Reuters, they would merely ask them to ‘correct’ or ‘adjust’ the impact factors of their journals to make them more accurate. Given that already Moed and van Leeuwen found that most such corrections seemed to increase the impact factor, it appears that these corrections only take place if a publisher considers their IF too low and only very rarely indeed if the IF may appear too high (and who would blame them?). Besides the old data from Moed and van Leeuwen, we have very little data as to how widespread this practice really is...."



07/18/2021, 05:26

From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) » peter.suber's bookmarks


oa.metrics oajif oa.negotiations oa.impact

Date tagged:

07/18/2021, 09:26

Date published:

01/08/2016, 04:26