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Impact factor: Measure of quality of research publication

Indian Journal of Orthopaedics
Medknow Publications
Publication Date
DOI: 10.4103/0019-5413.82330
  • Editorial
  • Political Science


Whenever we conduct a piece of research, every one of us wants it to be retrieved beyond human life, hence we publish it in journal. The authors would like it to be published in a journal which is most valued so that it is read far and wide and cited by others for future research. The librarian chooses the most respected and read journals for the libraries due to limited financial resources so that library is full of quality journals. When clinician scientists appear for selection and promotion the curriculum vitae are evaluated. The credit is given for a published research work in a most valued journal. What is a most valued journal? How to ascertain most valued journal? It is inevitably difficult to quantify qualitative measures such as scientific excellance.1 The prestige and standing of a journal used to depend on the reputation of editor, editorial board and the society it publishes, size of circulation, timeliness of publication, speed of handling the manuscript and rigor of peer review process. In the present era potential for online search and retrieval of article has added a dimension. Impact factor (IF) is now being used to measure as an index of quality and prestige and is being increasingly used for ranking and evaluating the journals and judging the academic performance and the quality and importance of an individual research publication.2 The IF is a product of the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) of Philidelphia, PA. ISI founded in 1958, is an independent, non-governmental private company. This has a database which lists the contents of scientific journals published world wide. They calculate the number of citation of each paper within the database receives from other papers within the database. A paper which receives more citation is valued more. These data are published as the science citation index (SCI). Similarly the value of individual journal may be seen by reviewing this bibliographic data. It is called journal IF.3 The IF for a journal is calculated by dividing the nu

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