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Abstract

The impact factor is a highly polemic metric. It was designed to help scientists in searching for bibliographic references for their own works, enabling communication among researchers and helping librarians in deciding which journal they should purchase. Nevertheless, it has soon become the most important measure of scientific performance applied to journals, articles, scientists, universities, etc. Since then, some researchers argue that it is a useless and flawed measure, while others defend its utility. The current study is the first survey on the opinion on the topic of a broad sample of scientists from all over the world. The questionnaire was answered by 1,704 researchers from 86 different countries, all the continents and all the UNESCO major fields of knowledge. The results show that the opinion is slightly above the median which could be understood as “neither positive nor negative”. Surprisingly, there is a negative correlation between the number of articles published by the respondents and their opinion on the impact factor.

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Scientometrics
Authors:
Gualberto Buela-Casal
,
Olga Gutiérrez-Martínez
,
María Bermúdez-Sánchez
, and
Oscar Vadillo-Muñoz

Abstract  

International academic rankings that compare world universities have proliferated recently. In accordance with latter conceptual and methodological advances in academic rankings approaches, five selection criteria are defined and four international university rankings are selected. A comparative analysis of the four rankings is presented taking into account both the indicators frequency and its weights. Results show that, although some indicators differ considerably across selected rankings and even many indicators are unique, indicators referred to research and scientific productivity from university academic staff have a prominent role across all approaches. The implications of obtained data for main rankings consumers are discussed.

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Scientometrics
Authors:
Gualberto Buela-Casal
,
Pandelis Perakakis
,
Michael Taylor
, and
Purificación Checa

Summary  

Internationality as a concept is being applied ambiguously, particularly in the world of academic journal publication. Although different criteria are used by scientometrists in order to measure internationality and to supplement its minimal literal meaning, the present study suggests that no single criterion alone is sufficient. This paper surveys, critically-assesses and extends the existing measures of internationality in the context of academic publishing and identifies those criteria that are most clearly resolved and amenable to quantitative analysis. When applied, however, to a case study of four thematically-connected journals from the field of Health and Clinical Psychology using descriptive statistics and the Gini Coefficient, the measurement of internationality using these criteria was found to be ambiguous. We conclude that internationality is best viewed as a mathematically fuzzy entity and that a single measure Internationality Index, constructed from a combination of suitably weighted criteria, is the only way to unambiguously quantify the degree of internationality.

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Scientometrics
Authors:
Gualberto Buela-Casal
,
Izabela Zych
,
Ana Medina
,
María Viedma Del Jesus
,
Susana Lozano
, and
Gloria Torres

Abstract  

The study discusses the necessity to analyze the influence of theoretical and empirical types of journal articles on the citation impact of Spanish psychology journals. Three of the most representative Spanish psychology journals were selected for the purposes of this study: Papeles del Psicólogo, Análisis y Modificación de Conducta and Psicothema. Twenty-three psychology journals in Spanish were used as source journals. Altogether, there were sixty-seven issues reviewed for the references and ninety-three issues for the articles. The bibliometricanalysis was conducted by six highly trained psychologists. The results demonstrated differences regarding the percentages of empirical and theoretical articles published in the three examined journals and the number of citations received by them based on the article type. When normalizing the results according to the number of theoretical and empirical articles that were published, it becomes evident that the theoretical articles receive on average twice as many references as the empirical ones. We discuss the importance of this effect on the comparison of journals based on their citation impact and show the evidence that it is only valid to compare journals which publish a similar percentage of theoretical and empirical articles.

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