Journal Impact Factors


CC BY 2.0

The 2014 Journal Impact Factors (JIFs) have arrived from Thomson Reuters. You can find them right now in Journal Citation Reports (JCR). A JIF for a journal for a given year measures the overall number of citations of articles published in that journal in the two previous years, and divides them by the number of citable items of that journal for those two years.

Example: JIF= (2011 citations to 2010+2009 articles)/(no. of “citable” articles published in 2009+2010)

Highlights in JCR this year:

  • 272 new journals have received their first Impact Factor.
  • 53% of journals will receive an increase in their Impact Factor.
  • 39 titles have been suppressed, either for high rates of self-citation or ‘citation stacking’. (Suppression from the JCR lasts one year and requires reevaluation before a journal is relisted.)
  • 11,149 journals are ranked. Australian journals make up a small percentage of that number.

What’s new?

While editors and researchers are very much interested in the Journal Impact Factors (JIFs), there is a new complementary calculation so that journals can be compared within and between subject disciplines.

The JIF Percentile translates a journal’s category rank into a percentile. For example, a journal that is ranked 19 out of 291 Biochemistry & Molecular Biology journals would receive a JIF Percentile score of 0.94. * JIF Percentile is calculated as (n – r + .5)/n where n = number of journals in the category and r = descending rank of the journal within that category.

More information?


Altmetrics… measuring the broader impact of research

"Naptime" by  Alec Couros (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

“Naptime” by Alec Couros (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) The research simultaneously striking fear and/or relief into the hearts of preschooler’s parents

Altmetrics are “alternative metrics”. Traditionally, research quality has been judged by the prestige of the journal it is published in, or by the number of citations to a paper. About 2010, the term Altmetrics was coined to refer to broader demonstrations of impact, such as mentions in newspapers or web pages, article downloads, twitter mentions, etc. These can be seen as measures of attention that articles are receiving online.

Various projects and websites (such as or ImpactStory) now calculate the altmetrics of research papers. QUT ePrints gives the score for journal articles as well as the traditional citation measures.

Recently, a QUT authored article has been racing up the altmetrics charts. The article, “Napping, development and health from 0 to 5 year : a systematic review” in Archives of Disease in Childhood is gaining a lot of online attention and has been frequently mentioned in newspapers, tweets, web pages and blogs. As of 27 February, 2015, it has an com score of 164 (pretty fine).

It is a systematic review of the evidence and was written by Karen Thorpe, Sally Staton, Emily Sawyer, Cassandra Pattinson, Simon Smith, and QUT Library’s own Health Liaison Librarian, Catherine Haden. There is more about altmetrics here, or you can read more about the research or the eprint of the article.

The lighter side of health research

Magazine stand by  Manoj Jacob (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Magazine stand by Manoj Jacob (CC BY-SA 2.0)

One of the great health-related puzzles of our time has been answered. New Zealand researchers have published a cohort study in the eminent journal BMJ’s satirical December edition addressing the question that puzzles those who frequent doctors’ waiting rooms: Why are the available magazines always so old?

And it seems petty thievery is to blame. Professor Bruce Arroll, Stowe Alrutz and Simon Moyes set out to seek answers and tracked 87 magazines placed in the practice waiting room. This included non-gossipy magazines (Time magazine, the Economist, Australian Women’s Weekly, National Geographic, BBC History) and gossipy ones (not identified for fear of litigation). Gossipy was defined as having five or more photographs of celebrities on the front cover and most gossipy as having up to 10 such images.

After 31 days, 41 of the 87 (47%, 95% confidence interval 37% to 58%) magazines had disappeared. None of the 19 non-gossipy magazines (the Economist and Time magazine) had disappeared compared with 26 of the 27 (96%) gossipy magazines (P<0.001). All 15 of the most gossipy magazines and all 19 of the non-gossipy magazines had disappeared by 31 days. The study was terminated at this point.

It seems some just can’t resist the allure of finding out whether celebrity A is REALLY pregnant or let their appointment interrupt them reading until the end of ‘Stars without make-up’.

Full results of the study can be read in ‘An exploration of the basis for patient complaints about the oldness of magazines in practice waiting rooms: cohort study’,  which is available open access at

So it seems you can’t blame practice staff for not supplying the latest gossip mags for you to indulge in while you wait – your fellow patients are to blame!




Free access to new Palgrave Pivot titles

Screen Distribution and the New King Kongs of the Online World by Stuart Cunningham  Entrepreneurship in Iran Palgrave Pivot title Sustainable Development and Green Communication  African and Asian Perspectives

Palgrave Pivot is a new type of peer-reviewed publication that is shorter than a book, but longer than a journal article.  Pivot allows for faster dissemination of research suitable for a medium length format.

Access over 100 Palgrave Pivot titles across Business, Social Sciences and the Humanities via QUT Library.

The very latest Palgrave Pivot titles are also available for you to download here.  But be quick, the free access to these latest titles ends Friday 1st November, 2013.

Researchers wishing to publish a Pivot title can find out more here,  or contact your Liaison Librarian

All systems go for AcWrMo

Steampunk computer

Steampunk computer made by Jake Von Slatt--by floorvan (CC-BY-NC-ND)

November is Academic Writing Month (#AcWrMo). AcWrMo is ideal if you are writing a thesis (Honours, Masters or PhD), then AcWrMo is for you. AcWrMo is also recommended for any researchers with a deadline.

6 Rules

  1. Decide your academic writing goal.
  2. Declare your goal on the shared Google Docs spreadsheet, over twitter (#AcWrMo), on your blog or to your dog.
  3. Draft a writing strategy
  4. Discuss your progress
  5. Don’t slack off
  6. Declare your results

If you want to join in, then sign yourself up on the shared Spreadsheet with outlandish writing goals and get writing.


Academic Writing Month