Journal Impact Factors in Sports Medicine and Science for 2014
Will G Hopkins
Sportscience 18, 44-47, 2014 (sportsci.org/2014/wghif.htm)
This article represents my annual summary of the latest impact factors of journals in the disciplines of sport and exercise medicine and science. The impact factors are compiled and published around the middle of each year as InCites Journal Citation Reports by Thomson Reuters. You will need an institutional subscription to access this resource.
Table 1 lists the factors of our journals in alphabetical order, while the abstract summarizes the most noteworthy performers in the journals specializing in our disciplines (i.e., excluding more generic biomechanics, physiology and psychology journals). The meaning of the impact factor is summarized in the legend of the table. For a more detailed explanation and critique, see an earlier article in this series. Read subsequent articles for explanations of related statistics and publication issues, including the page-rank, cited half-life and immediacy indices, the H (Hirsch) index, post-publication peer review, peer-reviewed proposals, and article-influence scores.
The publication issue I want to share with you this year is a utopian vision of science without journals and impact factors as we know them in a climate of manuscript acceptance rather than the prevailing one of manuscript rejection. This new age would begin when administrators of the top universities decreed that all research articles of their academics would be published only in their own open-access institutional archives. They would make this decree only for the good of science (see below), so it may never happen, but anyway… All other institutions would quickly follow suit. The appropriate scholarly societies would be commissioned (paid) as disinterested third parties to perform non-anonymized peer reviewing. Regardless of the reviewers' recommendations, authors could and usually would opt to publish, provided that the reviewers' final comments and the authors' responses were also published. Most underpowered studies would therefore end up in print, so publication bias would practically disappear. Present-day journals would survive only as archives of their previous articles, but some would become digests, similar to the Trends in… series of magazines. Predatory open-access journals would disappear.
Unfortunately Tomson Reuters would start publishing institutional-archive impact factors. Concerned about attracting good researchers and funding, the universities would publish research only with favorable reviews, and we'd soon be back to where we are now. As suggested by the reviewer of this article, the impact factor is probably an inevitable evil of the "market economy" we now find in academia. "Thompson Reuters, the top universities, and the publishers are all part of a financial ecosystem that will always reinvent itself in some form or other."
Thomson Reuters is
the publisher and copyright owner of the Journal Citation Reports®.
Published Nov 2014