The purpose of this paper is to examine the five‐year journal impact factor (JIF) score of the Journal Citation Reports (JCR).
The paper looks at one of the important enhancements to the JCR, the new five‐year journal impact factor (JIF) score. This element complements the traditional JIF scores and data. The new indicator addresses the criticism against the short citation window for evaluating the performance of nearly 8,000 scholarly and professional journals on a medium term.
It may be feasible that some of the other proposals presented by the best scientometricians for improving the JIF and its alternatives will be implemented in various specialty editions of JCR. Particularly interesting would be the adding of scores computed through diachronous instead of or in addition to synchronous measurement; creating new indicators based on the level of uncitedness of articles in journals; and calculating percentile JIF, JIF point averages and/or JIFs based on article count, with or without self‐citations.
The five‐year mid‐term JIF complements very well the short‐term two‐year JIF for indicating the prestige, reputation and influence of the journals through the prism of the average productivity of journals and the citedness counts of articles published in the journals for a longer time span. As mentioned above, breaking down the various indicators by disciplinary and subdisciplinary categories, or even by the language and the country of publication of the journals (not the country affiliation of the authors) can provide further insight into the landscape of scholarly publishing.
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