Impact | Factor

Impact factor of a journal
The impact factor of a journal reflects the frequency with which the journal's articles are cited in the scientific literature. It is derived by dividing the number of citations in year 3 to any items published in the journal in years 1 and 2 by the number of substantive articles published in that journal in years 1 and 2. For instance, the year 2010 impact factor for Journal X is calculated by dividing the total number of citations during the year 2012 to items appearing in Journal X during 2010 and 2011 by the number of articles published in Journal X in 2010 and 2011). The use of impact factor as an index of journal quality relies on the theory that citation frequency accurately measures a journal's importance to its end users. This theory is plausible for journals whose audiences are primarily researchers, most of whom write manuscripts for publication. By citing articles from a given journal in their own manuscripts, researchers are in essence casting votes for that journal. Impact factor serves as a tally of those votes.

In a given year, the impact factor of a journal is the average number of citations received per paper published in that journal during the two preceding years. For example, if a journal has an impact factor of 3 in 2008, then its papers published in 2010 and 2011 received 3 citations each on average in 2012. The 2012 impact factor of a journal would be calculated as follows:
A = the number of times articles published in 2010 and 2011 were cited by indexed journals during 2012.
B = the total number of "citable items" published by that journal in 2010 and 2011. ("Citable items" are usually articles, reviews, proceedings, or notes; not editorials or letters to the editor.)
2012 impact factor = A/B.

The impact factor for a journal is calculated based on a three-year period, and can be considered to be the average number of times published papers are cited up to two years after publication. Thus:

Wajiar Impact factor for 2011 = 6.40
Wajiar Impact factor for 2012 = To be calculated at end of 2012, i.e. it will be available in 2013


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