Impact factor  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The impact factor, often abbreviated IF, is a measure reflecting the average number of citations to articles published in science and social science journals. It is frequently used as a proxy for the relative importance of a journal within its field, with journals with higher impact factors deemed to be more important than those with lower ones. The impact factor was devised by Eugene Garfield, the founder of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), now part of Thomson Reuters. Impact factors are calculated yearly for those journals that are indexed in Thomson Reuter's Journal Citation Reports.

See also

  • H-index, for the impact factor of individual scientists, rather than journals.
  • PageRank, the algorithm used by Google, based on similar principles.
  • Eigenfactor, another journal citation ranking method.
  • SCImago Journal Rank, an open access journal metric which is based on Scopus data and uses an algorithm similar to PageRank.
  • Lowry protein assay paper by Oliver Lowry - one of the most cited papers in the scientific literature (cited over 200,000 times).

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