Impact Factors are a metric used to determine the importance of a publication to a specific field of research. The Impact Factor reveals the number of times a publication has been cited. For instance if an article has a high Impact Factor, it has a high value and has been cited my multiple authors in that field. Likewise, a low Impact Factor reveals that the article is of little value in the field.
For example, if a journal has an impact factor of 15.84, this means that, on average, the articles published in this journal are cited approximately 16 times each in the two previous years:
Citation analysis is the study of the impact and assumed quality of an article, an author, or an institution based on the number of times works and/or authors have been cited by others.
Why is citation analysis important?
Journal Rankings are the quantitative analysis of peer reviewed journals used to gain a complete depiction of a scholar's impact in their field. Journal rankings are based on three measures:
The impact of a journal will indicate where an author should submit their research.
*Benefits and Limitations of Impact Metrics
Quantitative publication metrics offer a relatively quick and seemingly concrete measure of research impact and are used widely in the assessment of academic health sciences research. However, metrics can lead to over-simplification and sometimes serve as direct proxies for impact at the expense of other valuable considerations.
Several efforts have led to frameworks that promote the application of assessment metrics as one important aspect of a broader assessment process.