Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, March 09, 2007

Does OA increase a journal's impact factor?

Mabel Chew, Elmer V. Villanuev, Martin B. Van Der Weyden, Life and times of the impact factor: retrospective analysis of trends for seven medical journals (1994-2005) and their Editors' views, Journal of the  Royal Society of Medicine, 100 (2007) pp. 142-150.  (Thanks to Jacob Bettany.)  Excerpt:

[Our objective was to] analyse trends in the journal impact factor (IF) of seven general medical journals (Ann Intern Med, BMJ, CMAJ, JAMA, Lancet, Med J Aust and N Engl J Med) over 12 years; and (2) to ascertain the views of these journals' past and present Editors on factors that had affected their journals' IFs during their tenure, including direct editorial policies....

Only one Editor stated that going online with free full access had increased his journal's IF, which had risen faster than those of specialty journals in the same publishing group that were not fully online....

PS:  As far as I know, only two of these journals (BMJ and CMAJ) have enough OA experience to make the claim in the second paragraph.  If so, that's one out of two reporting that OA increased IF, not one out of seven.