Article vs Journal Impact – Perspective from PLOS ONE Editorial Director Damian Pattinson

Earlier this summer, I skyped with Damian Pattinson, the Editorial Director of PLOS ONE, about the Impact Factor , its widespread misuse and how, thankfully, Altmetrics now offer a better way forward.

Q. The PLOS ONE Impact Factor has decreased for a few years in a row. Is this to be expected given its ranking as the world’s largest journal and remit to publish all good science regardless of impact?

A. I don’t think the Impact Factor is a very good measure of anything, but clearly it is particularly meaningless for a journal that deliberately eschews evaluation of impact in its publications decisions. Our founding principle was that impact should be evaluated post-publication. In terms of the average number of citations per article, my sense is that this is changing due to the expanding breadth of fields covered by PLOS ONE, not to mention its sheer size (we recently published our 100,000th article). When you grow as quickly as we have, your annual average citation rate will always be suppressed by the fact that you are publishing far more papers at the end of the year than at the beginning.

Source: blog.scienceopen.com

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