McGhee CN, Ormond SE " Considering journal impact factor and impact of the journal in the electronic age" Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 32 (5): 457-459 OCT 2004
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The authors have very kindly made the full text of the editorial available
to readers ... see below. The full citation for this editorial is :
McGhee CN, Ormonde SE "Considering journal impact factor and impact of the
journal in the electronic age" Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 2004;
CN. McGhee : c.mcghee at auckland.ac.nz
Title: Considering journal impact factor and impact of the journal
in the electronic age
Author(s): McGhee CN, Ormonde SE
Source: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL OPHTHALMOLOGY 32 (5): 457-459 OCT 2004
Cited References: 22
Addresses: McGhee CN (reprint author), Univ Auckland, Dept Ophthalmol,
Auckland, 1 New Zealand
Univ Auckland, Dept Ophthalmol, Auckland, 1 New Zealand
Publisher: BLACKWELL PUBLISHING ASIA, 54 UNIVERSITY ST, P O BOX 378,
CARLTON, VICTORIA 3053, AUSTRALIA
IDS Number: 862IT
*I SCI INF, 2003, J CIT REP.
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ELDER MJ, 2002, CLIN EXP OPHTHALMOL, V30, P394.
FERNANDO GT, 2000, CLIN EXP OPHTHALMOL, V28, P280.
GOSBELL AD, 2000, CLIN EXP OPHTHALMOL, V28, P212.
GRUPCHEVA CN, 2001, CLIN EXP OPHTHALMOL, V29, P133.
HOOPER CY, 2003, CLIN EXP OPHTHALMOL, V31, P376.
HUNGERFORD JL, 2003, CLIN EXP OPHTHALMOL, V31, P8.
JAROSS N, 2003, CLIN EXP OPHTHALMOL, V31, P32.
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Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 2004; 32: 457-459
Considering journal impact factor and impact of the journal in the
Currently there are more than 70 periodicals in the field of ophthalmology,
ranging from the cutting edge of clinical and laboratory science to the more
journalistic news format. To be successful each fulfils a niche but how
might we assess the merit and weight of each periodical, or indeed any
article contained therein?
In the days of the Hearstian newspaper giants, circulation or
subscription was the prime indicator of the impact of the written medium,
however, although journal subscription might remain one indicator, access
through electronic media vastly exceeds this measure in the electronic age.
So how should we grade and select the ophthalmology journals we read to be
best informed, yet avoid information overload? Although peer-evaluation or
questionnaire surveys of professional groups might lead to useful
categorization, two more objective resources are the Institute for
Scientific Information Journal Citation Reports 1 and publishers reports of
the number of times an article is electronically accessed.
The annual Institute for Scientific Information Journal Citation Reports
provide, amongst other information, citation details of all peer-reviewed
periodicals in ophthalmology, vision science and optometry that appear under
the category Ophthalmology. Currently, more than 30 periodicals do not
meet the strict criteria of the Journal Citation reports and data are
therefore reported on 41 peer-reviewed journals. One measure, the journal
impact factor (JIF) indicates how frequently the average article published
in a given journal will be cited within a specified time-frame.
Specifically, the JIF is calculated by dividing the number of citations in a
given year to any items published in the journal in the previous 2 years by
the number of "substantive articles" published in the same 2 years.1
Under the expert guidance of the previous editor, Mark Gillies, the
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Ophthalmology (ANZJO), evolved both in
style and content, culminating in a change of name in 2000, to Clinical and
Experimental Ophthalmology. Over its final five years, ANZJO progressively
increased its international standing and its JIF rose from 0.25 to 0.66,
placing it 30th in peer-reviewed ophthalmic and vision science journals.
Since emerging from the ANZJO banner in 2000, Clinical and Experimental
Ophthalmology has further refined its role as a journal and significantly
widened its readership. In 2002 the new journal held an equivalent JIF to
the final year of ANZJO (JIF 0.709, JIF ranking 27th). However, the recently
released Journal Citation Reports (2003) reveal a very significant rise in
JIF (1.151) for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology and as a corollary
the journal is now JIF-ranked 20th of 41 international ophthalmology journals.
Reviewing the more than 550 articles published in Clinical and Experimental
Ophthalmology since 2000, it is interesting to consider those articles that
have been cited most frequently. As one might expect, in a journal with both
clinical and experimental interests, the top ten most cited articles are
wide ranging in topic and include six clinical studies, three laboratory
reports and one review article (on retinal neuro-degeneration in
diabetes).2-11 The four most cited articles were concerned with: the
effectiveness on intravitreal triamcinolone for cystoid macular oedema (CMO)
in uveitis,2 age-specific prevalence and causes of visual impairment in the
Blue Mountains Eye Study,3 operated and unoperated cataract in Australia4
and the effect of triamcinolone on microglial morphology and expression of
MHC-II in exudative age-related macular degeneration.5 Of course, one must
remember that these publications do not necessarily reflect the core
interests of the readership of ophthalmologists in Australia, New Zealand
and farther afield, since they highlight citation trends by those clinicians
and scientists actively publishing research. Indeed, although both Australia
and New Zealand have relatively high research productivity in
ophthalmology12,13 it is unlikely that more than 20% of the regular
readership of this journal is actively involved in research.
Although many readers of Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology still
receive the journal in hard copy, the increasing electronic availability of
the journal through publishers, university departments, libraries, and
professional bodies has diversified and grown the readership beyond
ophthalmologists and vision scientists in Australasia. Reviewing the data on
Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology articles that have been
electronically accessed demonstrates an exponential upward trend, from less
than 2000 events per month in 2001, to more than 14,000 per month by the end
of 2003. The 30 most frequently accessed articles have each been accessed
between 100 and 500 times (compared to the top cited article with 36
citations). Although access does not necessarily connote in depth reading of
said article, the top 30 accessed articles may more accurately reflect the
more general readership interests than citation analysis alone.
Surprisingly, and serendipitously in an Editorial considering journal
impact, the most accessed article in the last four years is by Sims et al
(2003)14 on citation analysis in ophthalmology and vision science journals.
However, the top ten 2, 14-22 most accessed Clinical and Experimental
Ophthalmology articles cover diverse topics such as: corneal thickness and
intraocular pressure,15 triamcinolone and CMO in uveitis,2 age related
macular degeneration,18 retinal vascular endothelial growth factors,16
diabetic retinopathy in the Australian Aboriginal population,20
endophthalmitis19 and the treatment of ocular melanoma.22 Interestingly,
five of these ten articles were review articles.
Over the last two years, Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology has reduced
the mean time from acceptance of a manuscript to publication to around four
months, thus enabling rapid publication of topical articles and any related
correspondence. In this respect, another parameter reported by the Journal
Citation Reports is the immediacy index. This index indicates how quickly
the average article in a journal is cited and is calculated by dividing the
number of citations to articles published in a given year by the number of
articles published by the journal in that same year. Clinical and
Experimental Ophthalmology published 86 substantive articles (excluding
letters to the editor) in 2003 and 50 citations of these articles occurred
in 2003 providing an immediacy index of 0.581. Of 41 ophthalmology journals,
only Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science has a higher immediacy
The 2003 Journal Citation Reports provide encouraging news for Clinical and
Experimental Ophthalmology with an impact factor that breaks the 1.0 barrier
and for the first time takes the publication into the top twenty JIF ranked,
peer-reviewed ophthalmology journals. This is a reflection of the vision of
the current and previous Editorial Board, the industry of the many expert
reviewers and of course the increasingly high quality of original clinical
and laboratory research and major reviews that are submitted to the journal.
Based on current trends, the natural position for Clinical and Experimental
Ophthalmology over the next three years might be equilibration with a JIF of
1.5 and a consistent ranking in the top 15 journals. However, whilst
increasing external recognition of the journals success is encouraging, we
must never lose sight of its prime purpose, which must be to best serve the
diverse interests of its readership or, as Bertrand de Jouvenal wrote, year
by year we are becoming better equipped to accomplish the things we are
striving for. But what are we actually striving for?
Professor Charles NJ McGhee1,2 PhD FRANZCO
and Dr Susan E Ormonde2 FRCOphth
1 Editor in Chief, Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
and 2 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Auckland, New Zealand
1. Institute for Scientific Information. Science Citation Index. In:
Journal Citation Reports. Philadelphia: Institute for Scientific
Information,2003. <http://isiknowledge.com;> 2003.
2. Young S, Larkin G, Branley M, Lightman S. Safety and efficacy of
intravitreal triamcinolone for cystoid macular oedema in uveitis. Clin Exp
3. Wang JJ, Foran S, Mitchell P. Age-specific prevalence and causes of
bilateral and unilateral visual impairment in older Australians: the Blue
Mountains Eye Study. Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2000;28:268-273
4. McCarty CA, Nanjan MB, Taylor HR. Operated and unoperated cataract in
Australia. Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2000;28:77-82
5. Penfold PL, Wong JG, Gyory J, Billson FA. Effects of triamcinolone
acetonide on microglial morphology and quantitative expression of MHC-II in
exudative age-related macular degeneration. Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2001;29:188-192
6. Grupcheva CN, Craig JP, Sherwin T, McGhee CN. Differential diagnosis of
corneal oedema assisted by in vivo confocal microscopy. Clin Exp Ophthalmol
7. Rolling F, Shen WY, Barnett NL, Tabarias H, Kanagasingam Y, Constable I,
Rakoczy PE. Long-term real-time monitoring of adeno-associated
virus-mediated gene expression in the rat retina. Clin Exp Ophthalmol
8. Lieth E, Gardner TW, Barber AJ, Antonetti DA. Retinal neurodegeneration:
early pathology in diabetes. Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2000;28:3-8
9. Landers J, Goldberg I, Graham S. A comparison of short wavelength
automated perimetry with frequency doubling perimetry for the early
detection of visual field loss in ocular hypertension. Clin Exp Ophthalmol
10. Fernando GT, Crayford BB. Visually significant calcification of hydrogel
intraocular lenses necessitating explantation. Clin Exp Ophthalmol
11. Gosbell AD, Favilla I, Baxter KM, Jablonski P. Insulin receptor and
insulin receptor substrate-1 in rat retinae. Clin Exp Ophthalmol
12. Davis M, Wilson CS. Research contributions in ophthalmology: Australia's
productivity. Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2003;31:286-93.
13. Pon J. New Zealand ophthalmologists' research productivity. Clin Exp
14. Sims JL, McGhee CN. Citation Analysis and Journal Impact Factors in
Ophthalmology and Vision Science Journals. Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2003;31:14-22.
15. Lee GA. Khaw PT. Ficker LA. Shah P. The corneal thickness and
intraocular pressure story: where are we now? Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2002;30:334-7
16. Reichelt M. Shi S. Hayes M. Kay G. Batch J. Gole GA. Browning J.
Vascular endothelial growth factor-B and retinal vascular development in the
mouse. Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2003;31:61-5
17. Saw VP. Canty PA. Green CM. Briggs RJ. Cremer PD. Harrisberg B.
McCluskey P. O'Day J. Paine M. Wakefield D. Watson JD. Susac syndrome:
microangiopathy of the retina, cochlea and brain. Clin Exp Ophthalmol
18. Hooper CY. Guymer RH. New treatments in age-related macular
degeneration. Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2003;31:376-91
19. Elder MJ. Morlet N. EPSWA. Endophthalmitis Population Study of Western
Australia. Endophthalmitis. Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2002;30:394-8
20. Jaross N. Ryan P. Newland H. Prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in an
Aboriginal Australian population: results from the Katherine Region Diabetic
Retinopathy Study (KRDRS). Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2003;31:32-9
21. Yu DY. Cringle SJ. Su EN. Yu PK. Jerums G. Cooper ME. Pathogenesis and
intervention strategies in diabetic retinopathy. Clin Exp Ophthalmol
22. Hungerford JL. Current trends in the treatment of ocular melanoma by
radiotherapy. Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2003;31:8-13
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