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Commentary on Impact Factors of Journals 2011

David B Pyne

Sportscience 15, 18, 2011 (sportsci.org/2011/dbp.htm)
Department of Physiology, Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra, Australia. Email.

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The annual update of the latest impact factors for exercise and sports science journals is a welcome feature at this website, and complements other established highlights such as the conference reports on the ACSM and ECSS meetings. Impact factors continue to generate a lot of discussion and readers can make their own assessment of this yearís winners and losers. The color coding of Willís annual summary is useful to quickly assess the magnitude of rises and falls of individual journals from the previous year.

For academics impact factors are a critical metric of research output for faculty promotion, grant applications and professional standing. For sport-science practitioners the impact factors are probably most useful for directing them to the most highly sought after journals and articles in their discipline. The impact factor rankings are not perfect and a lower-ranked journal can enjoy a better year if they feature one or more review articles that draw widespread interest. Journal editors need to select brief reviews with one eye on the likely interest and impact.

I was one of the scientists who considered the concept of a research archive involving pre-publication peer-review. In principle, the idea has substantial merit, although as Will notes, the current costs are prohibitive for many authors, as is the time commitment for those who would run such a journal. However, the incentive for this move will grow and like-minded individuals are needed to push the idea out to the sport-science field and beyond.

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Published July 2011

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