Tiefenthaler, W; Hohlrieder, M; Hauffe, H; Heidegger, T; Benzer, A "Proposal for a different ranking of anaesthesia journals " ANAESTHESIA, 59 (8): 831-832 AUG 2004

Eugene Garfield garfield at CODEX.CIS.UPENN.EDU
Mon Sep 27 15:53:09 EDT 2004

E-mail Address: arnulf.benzer at uibk.ac.at

Author: Tiefenthaler, W; Hohlrieder, M; Hauffe, H; Heidegger, T; Benzer, A

Title : Proposal for a different ranking of anaesthesia journals

Source: ANAESTHESIA, 59 (8): 831-832 AUG 2004

 Language: English Document Type: Letter
 Keywords Plus: IMPACT FACTOR

Addresses: Med Univ Innsbruck, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria

Reprint Address: Tiefenthaler, W, Med Univ Innsbruck, A-6020 Innsbruck,

E-mail Address: arnulf.benzer at uibk.ac.at

Cited References:
FRANK E, 1994, JAMA-J AM MED ASSOC, V272, P163.
GARFIELD E, 1999, CAN MED ASSOC J, V161, P979.

Cited Reference Count: 4 Times Cited: 0


ISSN: 0003-2409 29-char Source Abbrev.: ANAESTHESIA
 ISO Source Abbrev.: Anaesthesia


Proposal for a different ranking of anaesthesia journals
ANAESTHESIA, 59 (8): 831-832 AUG 2004

Bibliometric methods and particularly the impact factor (IF) [1] are the
criteria according to which scientific journals are ranked in the Journal
Citation Report (JCR) of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI;
Philadelphia, USA). Whereas the impact of the ‘impact factor’ in the United
States is unclear, the ‘impact factor’ has been thought to make a
considerable impact in Western Europe [2]. In addition to the bibliometric
ranking of a journal according to its IF, the JCR also classes the various
journals in one or more categories. A survey of the academic staff of our
department recently showed that almost all colleagues named Anesthesiology ,
Anaesthesia,  Anesthesia & Analgesia and British Journal of Anaesthesia as
the top journals in the category ‘Anesthesiology’, although Pain has
occupied first place since the year 2000. This discrepancy is also evident,
even if only subconsciously, from current bibliometric studies in
anaesthesia [3], when anaesthesiologist authors view pain journals as not
‘real’ anaesthesia journals, excluding them from analysis, even though the
ISI puts them in that category. Needless to say, the impact factor has been
the subject of constant criticism [2] since its introduction in the early
1960s [1], although it retains its position as the most important
bibliometric parameter.
 The aim of our investigation was to attempt to devise a ranking method that
would conform to bibliometric criteria as well as the subjective opinion of
the professional reader and author. A search was run on PubMed to determine
the specification of the first author of all original papers (limit item of
PubMed: ‘articles with abstract’), published in 2002 in ten top journals
listed in the category ‘Anesthesiology’ of the ISI's JCR 2002; in a second
run the IF published in the JCR 2002 was multiplied by the percentage of
first authors from a Department of Anaesthesiology in the journals in order
to obtain a modified ranking (See Table 1).
 The phrases used to describe a journal in everyday life, such as ‘premier
journal’ and ‘top journal’ usually refer, on one hand, to a journal with a
high impact factor and, on the other hand, to the category-specific ranking
of a journal independent of its impact factor. For a journal to lose its top
position is not without importance for authors (such as academic career
progression, funding by sponsors). For authors it is a journal's prestige
that induces them to submit a scientific paper [4], while for readers it is
a journal's top rank that indicates the quality of its content. This can,
however, be misleading for authors and readers when the top-ranking journal
in a category does not have a large enough percentage of category-specific
(first) authors. By including the percentage of category-specific first
authors in the journal citation a new ranking is created that reflects both
bibliometric calculation and reader / author assessment and which is also
confirmed by the fact that this modified ranking corresponds to the JCR
ranking of anaesthesia journals which was in use until 1995.

W. Tiefenthaler,
M. Hohlrieder,
H. Hauffe
Th. Heidegger
A. Benzer

Medical University of Innsbruck,
A- 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Email: arnulf.benzer @uibk.ac.at

1 Garfield E. Journal impact factor: a brief review. CMAJ 1999; 161:
2 Hecht F, Hecht BK, Sandberg AA. The journal ‘impact factor’: a
        misnamed, misleading, misused measure. Cancer Genet Cytogenet 1998;
        104: 77-81.
3 Figueredo E, Sanchez Perales G, Munoz Blanco F. International
        publishing in anaesthesia - how do different countries contribute?
        Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2003;  47: 378-82.
4 Frank E. Authors' criteria for selecting journals. JAMA 1994; 272:

Table 1
Exisiting ranking and new ranking of the top ten ‘Anesthesiology’ journals.
IF = impact factor

JCR ranking 2002          Modified ranking  (IF  x  % Anesthesiology)
 IF % Anes.
Pain         4.83 13.5%  Anesthesiology        2.88
Anesthesiology 3.47 83.1%  Anesth Analg        2.15
Anaesthesia 2.57 80.9%  Anaesthesia        2.08
Anesth Analg 2.33 92.1%  Brit J Anaesth        1.78
Brit J Anaesth 2.10 84.9%  Acta Anaesth Scand     1.27
Clin J Pain 1.94 27.0%  Eur J Anaesthesio      1.00
Acta Anaesth  1.51 84.4%  Region Anesth Pain     0.95
Eur J Pain 1.27 15.1%  Pain                0.65

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