Toshev B.V. "The Academic Journals and Their Impact Factor" Nauka 14(5): 28-31, 2004

Eugene Garfield eugene.garfield at THOMSON.COM
Tue Sep 20 14:28:59 EDT 2005

E-mail: toshev at

Professor B.V. Toshev has provided an extended abstract in English for the
readers of this list.

AUTHOR : Toshev B.V.

TITLE  : The Academic Journals and Their Impact Factor

SOURCE : Nauka 14(5): 28-31, 2004

Professor B.V. Toshev,
Department of Physical Chemistry,
University of Sofia,
1 James Bourchier Blvd., 1126 Sofia, BULGARIA
toshev at

The new scientific results should be published. The main functions of the
academic journals are: i) to produce, disseminate and exchange the
scientific knowledge; ii) to rank research in order to assist the
distribution of the research funds and iii) to facilitate the employment
and promotion of the people involved in science. The system of scientific
periodicals has functioned in two levels. The first level includes both the
primary research journals (e.g., Langmuir ISSN 0743-7463) and scholarly
journals with more expanded audience (e.g., Ambix ISSN 0002-6980). The
second level includes the secondary research journals (e.g., Chemical
Abstracts, America: History and Life, etc.). It is just the world system of
abstracting, indexing and evaluation of the scientific results. The
assessment of the academic journals is by their involvement in Science
Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and Art and
Humanities Citation Index. The reasons for such a structure of the system
and the ways of its functioning are described and commented. Citation
analysis is of an importance mainly because it is heavily used in science
policy and research evaluation professionals. The most popular indicators
in such considerations are the impact factor IF, the immediacy index II and
the response time t1. If in two consecutive years the journal has published
C papers and in the next year B their cites have been found, then the
journal impact factor should be IF= B/C. The immediacy index II is
calculated by dividing the number of citing articles from a given year by
the number of articles that the cited journal has published in the same
year. II is a measure of how rapidly the average article in a particular
journal will be discovered and cited. The response time t1 determines when
a given paper is sited for the first time. Obviously t1 marks the change in
the paper status – before that time the paper remains unnoticed and
unutilized; at that time and later the paper becomes utilized and
evaluated. The first two indicators allow the journals to be ranked,
categorized and compared. It is proposed the scholarly journals to be
considered as excellent, above average, average, under average and
marginal. The articles of the marginal journals are not indexed and
abstracted in the secondary research journals. Therefore it seems to be
worthless to support of and publish in such kind of journals. In Bulgaria
only IF seems to be known but its use in the Bulgarian evaluation practice
is incorrect because this feature of the journals is transmitted to the
researchers in attempt to indicate their degree of qualification. Two new
indicators that would characterize quantitatively the scientific
achievements of the researchers are proposed: efficiency e=nk, n and k –
number of the author’s publications and their citations, respectively (n is
a measure of author’s productivity and k is a measure of the usefulness of
author’s publications), and personal impact factor PIF=q/m where q is the
number of citations in a given year of m author’s publications, published
in two previous years. The State Higher Commission of Attestation and
Promotion in Bulgaria  recommends the academic degree ‘professor in
Chemistry’ to be conferred when the candidate presents a list of 40 or more
scientific papers, 30 of them being published in journals with IF (three
opponents examine the academic achievements of the candidate for a
professorship). Additionally the number of cites of those papers should be
at least 80. These requirements in terms of the efficiency read as e>2 400.
For an Associate Professor in Chemistry the same indicator should be e>
500. Obviously when the number of cites ê is small, then the author should
increase his/her productivity in order to compensate the bad  influence of
the k- factor. Certainly when k=0, e=0 as well and such person cannot be
considered as a member of the world scientific community. For historically
reasons the last conclusion holds for a part of the Bulgarian academic
community, especially in the case of social sciences.
1. Toshev, B.V. Political Economy of Higher Education. Possoki 5(4),
10 (2003) [In Bulgarian]

2. Weiner, G. The Academic Journal: Has It Future? Educ. Policy
Analysis Archives Vol. 9, No. 9, March, 21, 2001.

3. Toshev, B.V. Publish or Perish, Publish Yet Again Perish: Rules for
Successful Scientific Publications. Khimiya 13, 163 (2004) [In Bulgarian]

4. Dumleavy, P. Publishing Your Research in Authoring a PhD: How to
Plan, Draft, Write, and Finish a Doctoral Thesis or Dissertation. Palgrave
McMillan, New York, 2003.

5. Garfield, E. Citation Analysis as a Tool in Journal Evaluation.
Science. 178, 471 (1972).

6. Garfield, E. The Impact Factor. Current Content. 25, 3, 20 June

7. Egghe, L. A Heuristic Study of the First-Citation Distribution.
Scientometrics. 48, 345 (2000).

8. Egghe, L., R. Rousseau.  Introduction to Informetrics. Quantitative
Methods in Library, Documentation and Information Science. Elsevier,
Amsterdam, 1990.

9. Toshev, B.V. The World System of Indexing, Abstracting and
Evaluation. Khimiya 7, 259 (1998) [In Bulgarian].

Professor B.V. Toshev,
Department of Physical Chemistry,
University of Sofia,
1 James Bourchier Blvd., 1126 Sofia, BULGARIA
toshev at

More information about the SIGMETRICS mailing list