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The Impact-Factor Olympics for Journals in Sport and Exercise Science and Medicine

Will G Hopkins

Sportscience 16, 17-19, 2012 (sportsci.org/2012/wghif.htm)
Sport and Recreation, AUT University, Auckland 0627, New Zealand.  Email.  Reviewer: David Pyne, Department of Physiology, Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra, Australia.

This year's gold medalist amongst the sport and exercise science and medicine journals competing for the highest impact factor was again Sports Medicine (now on 5.2), but Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews (4.5) has now taken the silver ahead of last-year's runner-up, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (4.4). Other finalists included British Journal of Sports Medicine (4.1), American Journal of Sports Medicine (3.8), and Journal of Applied Physiology (3.7). Semi-finalists were led by Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport (3.0), Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports (2.9), Exercise and Immunology Reviews (2.8), Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology (2.7), International Journal of Sports Medicine (2.4), European Journal of Applied Physiology (2.2), Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism (2.1), and International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism (2.0). The most noteworthy performers in the heats were International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance (1.8, up by a spectacular 130%) and the little known Archives of Budo (1.2, up by a similar 140%), while the Journal of Sports Sciences (1.9) is languishing at this level and may need a new coach. Several new journals have appeared in the preliminary rounds (<1.0), including International Journal of History of Sport, International Journal of Sport Finance, and International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship. KEYWORDS: citation, publication, research.

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This article represents my annual summary of the latest impact factors of journals in the disciplines of sport and exercise science and medicine. The Institute for Scientific Information (ISI, a subsidiary of Thomson Reuters) compiles the impact factors and publishes them as Journal Citation Reports each year around June-July. You will need an institutional subscription to access this and other resources at ISI Web of Knowledge.

Table 1 lists the factors of our journals in alphabetical order, while the abstract summarizes the most noteworthy performers in the journals specializing in our disciplines. The meaning of the impact factor is summarized in the legend of the table, but for an in-depth explanation and critique of the impact factor, start with an earlier article in this series.

International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance needs special mention for its spectacular leap to the level of the heats of the competition. This journal made its entry to ISI's report last year on 0.8, although it had been omitted initially. In the interim I had calculated its impact factor as 1.2, using the citation statistics at ISI's own Web of Science database. I don't think I made a mistake, so I suspect ISI does not follow its own rules when computing the impact factor; for example, it may discount citations in some low-level journals. Regardless, IJSPP's increase is phenomenal, and now "my friends… don't have to worry about committing professional suicide by publishing in [what was previously seen as] a 'weak' journal", to quote a personal communication from Stephen Seiler (University of Agder, Norway).

This year I have no new citation statistics to introduce to you, and there has been little progress with the idea I floated last year for peer-review of proposals followed by practically guaranteed publication of studies that conform to their approved proposals. Most of my colleagues can see the merit, but none of us has had the time to fully develop the idea and sell it to our journals.

 

Table 1. Impact factors (cites per article per year) for sport and exercise science and medicine journals based on papers published in 2009 and 2010 that were cited in 2011.  Some impact factors are shown as inequalities, to comply with terms of use set by Thomson Reuters. "???" indicates a possible inadvertent omission of the journal from the databases. "<1.0" implies a value between 0.1 and 1.0.  A journal without an impact factor is not in Thomson Reuter's science or social sciences databases, either because the journal is too new or the factor is too low. Color indicates direction and magnitude of change in impact factor since last year, as follows:

New

 ³70%

 30-69%

 10-29%

 0-9%

 ³10%

<1.0

ACSM's Health and Fitness Journal

3.1

Acta Physiologica Scandinavica

1.5

Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly

American Journal of Medicine and Sports

4.8

American Journal of Physiology - Endo & Metab

3.7

American Journal of Physiology - Heart & Circ

3.8

American Journal of Sports Medicine

1.4

Applied Ergonomics

2.1

Applied Physiology Nutrition & Metabolism

1.5

Applied Psychological Measurement

1.5

Applied Psychology-International Review

1.2

Archives of Budo

Asian Journal of Sports Medicine

0.9

Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine

2.1

Behavior Research Methods

<1.0

Biology of Sport

4.1

British Journal of Sports Medicine

2.1

Clinical Biomechanics

2.1

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine

1.6

Clinics in Sports Medicine

1.1

Current Sports Medicine Reports

<1.0

Deutsche Zeitschrift fur Sportmedizin

Electromyography and Motor Control

1.4

Ergonomics

2.2

European Journal of Applied Physiology

1.0

European Journal of Sport Science

???

European Review of Aging and Physical Activity

European Sports History Review

2.8

Exercise Immunology Review

4.5

Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews

Frontiers in Movement Science and Sport Psychology

???

Gait and Posture

1.8

High Altitude Medicine and Biology

1.8

Human Movement Science

International Journal of Athletic Therapy & Training

International Journal of Coaching Science

International Journal of Computer Science in Sport

6.4

International Journal of Epidemiology

<1.0

International Journal of History of Sport

International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport

2.0

International J of Sport Nutrition & Exercise Metabolism

<1.0

International Journal of Sport Finance

<0.1

International J of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship

1.0

International Journal of Sport Psychology

2.4

International Journal of Sports Medicine

1.8

International J of Sports Physiology & Performance

<1.0

International J of Sports Science & Coaching

<1.0

International Review for the Sociology of Sport

<1.0

International Sportmed Journal

International Sports Journal

<1.0

Isokinetics and Exercise Science

???

Japanese Journal of Physical Fitness and Sport

2.1

Journal of Aging and Physical Activity

1.2

Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis

1.2

Journal of Applied Behavioral Science

<1.0

Journal of Applied Biomechanics

3.7

Journal of Applied Physiology

4.3

Journal of Applied Psychology

1.6

Journal of Applied Sport Psychology

1.8

Journal of Athletic Training

2.4

Journal of Biomechanics

Journal of Comparative Physical Education & Sport

2.0

Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology

3.2

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health

Journal of Exercise Physiology Online

<1.0

Journal of Exercise Science & Fitness

<1.0

Journal of Human Kinetics

Journal of Human Movement Studies

Journal of Human Performance in Extreme Environments

Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

1.6

Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition

<1.0

Journal of Leisure Research

1.6

Journal of Motor Behaviour

2.1

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine

3.0

Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy

<1.0

Journal of the Philosophy of Sport

Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, & Dance

4.7

Journal of Physiology

Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports

3.0

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport

2.7

Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology

1.1

Journal of Sport and Social Issues

Journal of Sport Behavior

<1.0

Journal of Sport Economics

Journal of Sport History

<1.0

Journal of Sport Management

1.1

Journal of Sport Rehabilitation

<1.0

Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness

<1.0

Journal of Sports Science and Medicine

1.9

Journal of Sports Sciences

Journal of Sports Traumatology

1.8

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

Journal of Swimming Research

1.0

Journal of Teaching in Physical Education

<1.0

Kinesiology

1.6

Leisure Sciences

<1.0

Leisure Studies

Measurement in Physical Education & Exercise Science

<1.0

Medicina dello Sport

4.4

Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise

Medicine and Sport Science

1.5

Motor Control

1.7

Pediatric Exercise Science

Pediatric Physical Therapy

<1.0

Perceptual and Motor Skills

Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy

Physical Educator

1.0

Physical Therapy in Sport

1.0

Physician and Sportsmedicine

1.9

Psychology of Sport and Exercise

<1.0

Quest

1.5

Research in Sports Medicine

1.5

Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

2.9

Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports

<1.0

Science and Sports

<1.0

Sociology of Sport Journal

Sport History Review

<1.0

Sport, Education, and Society

1.0

(The) Sport Psychologist

<1.0

Sports Biomechanics

Sports Exercise and Injury

5.2

Sports Medicine

Sports Technology

<1.0

Sportverletzung-Sportschaden

<1.0

Strength and Conditioning Journal

Women in Sport & Physical Activity Journal

 

Thomson Reuters is the publisher and copyright owner of the Journal Citation Reports®.
Impact factors listed in this article are used with the express permission of Thomson Reuters.

 

Published July 2012
©2012