Johan Bollen, Marko A. Rodriguez, and Herbert Van de Sompel "Journal Status" arXiv:cs.GL/0601030 v1 9 Jan 2006

David Goodman dgoodman at PRINCETON.EDU
Tue Mar 7 01:09:09 EST 2006

Dear Stephen,

Surely there are two different purposes intended:
Local citations (and local generation's)
 is what a librarian must use in evaluating journals for his local library (as
well as other things, of course, like value for money.)
They are also what one needs in doing "micro-bibliometrics"
of patterns within a university or similar setting.

But in evaluating journals for "quality" or intrinsic worth, or
even value for money in a global sense, the conventional IFs
would seem more effective.   There might be some atypical
situations where the "high ranking" authors used predominantly
one set of journals, and the "lower ranking" authors used a
different set, but I cannot recall a published example.

But I do not agree that total citations is generally useful. Total citations
A large journal with a low IF for its field and hight total citations
 is a repository for second rate articles,  A small journal with the same
relatively low impact factor  might be a smaller repository for second-rate
articles, or might be a very specialized good journal. Looking at
which journals cite them will distinguish.
There are however  other good reasons to look
at size such as examining the relationship between
price and cost, as Bergstrom et al have done.

A better global factor will be total number of generation's, when such data
becomes available. From my experience in COUNTER, this will not be
for quite a while. (I  say "my experience" ; I do not speak for Counter.) There
is a major  technical problem: The numbers are not comparable between
publishers, only between the journals of a single publisher--this has been
know for about  a year now, and the cause remains undetermined.
See <>
 (Note that this also affects the usefulness of comparing generation's for local use;
there is an option of examining logs, but that only measures the portion
that goes through the portal; I do not know if anyone has
calibrated this ratio locally--it will of course be vary by journal
and by different universities.

Once this is figured out,  we will need to get the publishers to release
global use figures. (Or we will need to get all universities willing to
provide their calibrated portal count, less accurate though that may be.)
Neither will be easy, and anyone interested in strategy can write to me off-list.

What we will soon have, is the ability to provide global counts of all uses in
IRs and possibly some other repositories, aggregated by journal.
If  OA comes soon enough, we won't need anything else. It's
possible that we might
 get 100% OA before we have 100% publishers' statistics.

Prestige is easy conceptually, though hard to measure.
Imho, Prestige is the previous generation's use and IF.
JCR has been around long enough for us to start doing
longitudinal studies of the necessary time span.

Dr. David Goodman
Associate Professor
Palmer School of Library and Information Science
Long Island University
and formerly
Princeton University Library

dgoodman at
dgoodman at

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