BMC Bioinformatics' delayed impact

Johannes Stegmann johannes.stegmann at CHARITE.DE
Tue Nov 23 07:18:06 EST 2004

Dear Colleagues,

  I take this opportunity to point you to my personal homepage
( which I recently (today) set up
and which contains also material on impact factor of journals not listed in
the JCR.

  At the beginning of my work in bibliometrics I had some (now gone)
enthusiasm to create long lists of impact factors for non-ISI journals,
constructed from data retrieved online. This is, of course (as I know now)
not possible to do for one (or two) person(s) alone. Despite of that I will
try to proceed with this kind of work, at least at a low level.

  I must say, however, that in the (bio) medical fields ISI-non-source
journals obviously receive only few cites from the source journals. We
could show that German medical faculties publish between 10 and 20 percent
of their papers in non-JCR journals, but those papers receive well below 10
percent of all cites (we presented some of our investigation - but not with
emphasis on non-JCR items - as a poster at the 8th S&T conference 2004 in
Leiden, and a full paper will hopefully appear in 2005).
  See also in this context the excellent presentation by Martijn Visser and
Henk Moed ("Measuring the impact of non-ISI source items",

  So, the overall picture for high levels of aggregation would presumably
not change even if the ISI-non-source titles had impact factors and the
source titles had a re-calculated impact factor. Nevertheless, I'd like to
bring to your attention the CIF data we collected during our studies (see
the CIF pages on my homepage). We identified nearly 400 distinct non-IS
journals, and for roughly the top ten percent we calculated the impact
factors for each of the years 1995 to 2001 (unless titles are included in
the JCR).

  When I sent that correpsondence letter to Nature in September 1997, I was
not aware of all the work done before by others (and had indeed only a
crude image of what bibliometrics is); I hope I fixed that - at least in
part - in my JoD paper 1999 and our Scientometrics papers 2001 where I
cited most of the relevant papers, including the paper published 1979 by
Spaventi, J., Tudor-Silovic, N., Maricic, S. & Labus, M. (which I was
pointed to by Sinisa Maricic) and the paper published 1989 by Sen, B.K.,
Karanjai, A., & Munshi, U.M.
  Matthew Cockerill should really have cited those papers and, of course,
the paper by
Christensen, F.H., Ingwersen, P. and Wormell, I., "Online determination of
the journal impact factor and its international properties".
Scientometrics, 40 (3), 1997, 529-540.

Kind regards,

Johannes Stegmann

Dr. Johannes Stegmann
Charité - University Medicine Berlin
Joint Facility of Free University and Humboldt-University
Campus Benjamin Franklin, Medical Library
12203 Berlin, Germany
johannes.stegmann at
Tel.: +49 30 8445 2035  Fax:  +49 30 8445 4454
Personal homepage:

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