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How BioMed Central affects impact factors

Does open access increase the likelihood for articles to be cited, or to be cited more often, compared to articles published in subscription-based journals? The questions around such an ‘open access citation effect’ – its size, indeed its existence, and how it may relate to different open access models – have been discussed for many years. A 2010 literature review by Alma Swan showed that the vast majority of relevant…

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The maze of impact metrics

So much science, so little time. Amid an ever-increasing mountain of research articles, data sets and other output, hard-pressed research funders and employers need shortcuts to identify and reward the work that matters. They have plenty of options: research impact is now recognized as a multidimensional affair. The conventional measures of scholarly importance — citation metrics, publication in influential journals and the opinion of peers as expressed in letters and…

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Measuring Journal Impact in the Digital Age

Article Level Metrics (ALMs) are a new approach to quantifying the reach and impact of published research. Historically, impact has been measured at the journal level. A journal’s average number of citations to recent articles (i.e., its impact factor) has for years served as a proxy for that publication’s importance. Articles published in highly cited journals were viewed as impactful by association. As electronic dissemination of scholarly content surpassed print,…

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