[Sigmetrics] Global and average Impact Factors

Isidro F. Aguillo isidro.aguillo at cchs.csic.es
Tue Oct 24 03:33:52 EDT 2017

Dear all,

After sending this message I received private emails focusing on the IF 
related problems. But I think there is a misunderstanding. I am not 
criticizing the use of IF, although I am of course against its uniformed 
use and abuse and I know their limitations. In fact my comment is even 
unrelated with Clarivate (WoS/JCR).

The point is that in Spain "somebody" in one or several funding agencies 
thinks that it is correct to sum averages or calculate average of 
averages. Almost all the Annual Reports of the most important and 
prestigious Spanish biomedical research centers are publishing these two 
indicators in headlines (because is requested by the agencies):

- "Global Impact Factor"= the sum of all the IF of the papers they 
produced (without any normalization)
- "Average Impact Factor" = the average of IF per paper (or per author)

This is not a part of debate about the IF, this is an horrendous 
mathematical error (I learned this is an error in primary school!).  And 
we need a strong answer from ISSI and bibliometrics community.


El 23/10/2017 a las 10:53, Isidro F. Aguillo escribió:
> Dear all,
> In spite of the large number of papers (and declarations) against the 
> misuse and abuse of the IF, this indicator still appears frequently in 
> the "bibliometric" sections of the reports of many academic and 
> research institutions. But to my surprise I just discovered that most 
> of Spanish health-related institutions, including several of the most 
> prestigious ones, are using derived indicators like Impact Factor 
> Global (adding all the IF values of the papers) or Average Impact 
> Factor (usually per paper, but also per author) that are gross 
> mathematical aberrations. The reason for making public these 
> "indicators" is because the funding agencies are asking for them, 
> including local and national govts, private foundations and ... EC 
> (!!??).
> I do not know if it is possible some action of ISSI or even from 
> Clarivate to stop the use of these pseudo-indicators.
> Thanks in advance,


Isidro F. Aguillo
Dr. Honoris Causa Universitas Indonesia
Dr. Honoris Causa National Research Nuclear University Moscow
Editor Rankings Web
Cybermetrics Lab - Scimago Group, IPP-CSIC
Madrid. SPAIN

isidro.aguillo at csic.es
ORCID 0000-0001-8927-4873
ResearcherID: A-7280-2008
Scholar Citations SaCSbeoAAAAJ
Twitter @isidroaguillo
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