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Impact Factor 2015 for Open Access journals confirms JMIR as leading journal
(Toronto/Philadelphia, Jun 14, 2016) Thomson Reuters has published the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) with its Journal Impact Factors for 2015, and we are pleased to see an impact factor increase for JMIR by over a point, from 3.428 (2014) to 4.532 (2015) (5-year impact factor: 5.247), ahead of the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA), which dropped to 3.428 (and in more bad news for AMIA, the other official AMIA journal ACI was delisted for citation manipulation, see below). The Journal Impact Factor 2015 is defined as the number of citations in 2015 to the citations to articles published in the previous 2 years (2013-2014), divided by the number of articles published during that time. The Journal Impact Factor is a metric of excellence for a journal, it is not an article-level metric.
The Impact Factor is an increasingly controversial metric due its frequent misuse, e.g. administrators comparing the "raw" impact factor score across disciplines, as well as the intransparent procedures and arbitrary and slow journal selection procedures on the part of Thomson Reuters. This disadvantages journals in smaller disciplines such as medical informatics, which traditionally have less citations than for example multidisciplinary or general medicine journals. As one innovation, Thomson Reuters is now ranking journals by quartile (Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4), within their discipline.
While we at JMIR discourage obsession over the journal impact factor (in particular if abused as proxy to assess the quality of individual articles), our ranking in the JCR is an important validation that even as small open access publisher we can compete with journals published by publishing giants.
For 10 years now, JMIR is consistently ranked in the first quartile (Q1) in both of it's disciplines, medical informatics (Q1, #2/20, 93rd percentile) and health services research (Q1, #5/87, 94th percentile).
It is the top-ranked (#1) journal by 5-year impact factor for a number of years now.
These rankings are robust and the same for a ranking by Eigenfactor (which takes into account the prestige/impact of the citing journals) or "Impact Factor Without Journal Self-Cites".
JMIR is also the largest medical informatics journal in this category, by citable items.
However, even these category-specific rankings are sometimes of limited use, in particular for multidisciplinary journals such as JMIR, which fit into more than the categories selected by the JCR editors. Moreover, the current JCR categories sometimes lump together journals which do not belong together, for example statistics journals are part of the medical informatics category, and oddly enough, the journal Statistical Methods in Medical Research (which is not a medical informatics journal) remains the top-ranked journal in the medical informatics category. JMIR is ranked #2, behind this statistics journal, with an almost identical impact factor.
We therefore keep reminding our prospective authors that the impact factor should not be the only determining factor when submitting an article. The journal scope and audience (who reads the journal) are equally important if one wants to maximize impact and influence of an article on key stakeholders and researchers, which is not measurable by citations (perhaps better measured with social media uptake and altmetrics).
We continue to encourage our authors to consider the full range of JMIR journals when submitting an article and consider the scope of the journal and the topic of the article.
Newer JMIR sister journals are not officially listed in JCR yet, but their inofficial impact factors (calculated from Web of Science data) look promising, for example
Quiz: Which of the following #openaccess journals has the highest impact factor:
1) PloS One,
3) BMC MDM,
4) BMJ Open,
(scroll down for the answer - hint: the ranking is exactly the same as last year)
Citation Manipulation and Delisting of 3 Medical Informatics Journals
Beyond the Journal Impact Factor
Authors care (and should care) about other metrics/ratings such as author satisfaction with reviews and turnaround times, as for example evaluated by SciRev. JMIR is ranked highly here as well (compare for example against PlosOne ratings).
Other metrics to look at are the twimpact factor (social media impact) as well as post-publication dissemination activies by the publisher (JMIR is using TrendMD to promote published articles across other publishers such as BMJ and the JAMA network).