Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, June 02, 2008

Picking a journal with impact in mind

Athanassios C. Tsikliras, Chasing after the high impact, Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics, March 6, 2008. 

Abstract:   In this paper, I present the perspectives of a young non-native English speaking scientist from a southern European country (Greece) on the impact factor system that is commonly used to assess the performance of countries, institutions, and scientists, including the role this plays in the selection of a journal to which to submit a manuscript. Although young scientists may not always be aware of the advantages and pitfalls of the impact factor system when it comes to the choice of which journal to submit to, journal ranking is among the selection criteria, following the journal’s general scope and rapid manuscript handling but preceding choice of a journal which allows authors to suggest potential referees, and open access journals. The impact factor system is briefly criticised and some improvements are suggested, such as adjustment among scientific disciplines, accounting for the number of authors and the position of an author among them as well as including a page (or word) count.


  • The same issue of ESEP is dedicated to The use and misuse of bibliometric indices in evaluating scholarly performance.  I haven't opened each article in the issue, but it appears that Tsikliras' article is the only one to discuss OA.  If I'm wrong, I'd be glad to add links to the others.
  • Tsikliras recommends OA as one criterion among others when selecting a journal, and one fairly far down the priority list:  "A final criterion,
    not crucial but certainly important, is online access, with open-access journals generally preferred because they provide a wider audience, more citations and thus, greater impact."  But despite the topic of the paper, and despite this quotation acknowledging that OA increases audience and impact, the paper doesn't mention (1) the Hitchcock bibliography, (2) the empirical studies showing that OA correlates with, and probably causes, a 40-250% boost in citations over non-OA articles published in the same issues of the same journals, or (3) the possibility of publishing in a journal of middling impact and self-archiving to boost the impact of one's individual article.

Update (6/3/08).  There were two more OA-related articles in the issue and I just blogged them.