Rising Publication Delays Inflate Journal Impact Factors
Connotea: stevehit's bookmarks matching tag oa.new 2013-01-04
Adriano Tort, Ze Targino, and Olavo Amaral
PLoS ONE, (31 Dec 2012)
From the Abstract: We analyze 61 neuroscience journals and show that delays between online and print publication of articles increased steadily over the last decade. Importantly, such a practice varies widely among journals, as some of them have no delays, while for others this period is longer than a year. Using a modified impact factor based on online rather than print publication dates, we demonstrate that online-to-print delays can artificially raise a journal’s impact factor, and that this inflation is greater for longer publication lags. We also show that correcting the effect of publication delay on impact factors changes journal rankings based on this metric. We thus suggest that indexing of articles in citation databases and calculation of citation metrics should be based on the date of an article’s online appearance, rather than on that of its publication in print.