Date: February 2, 1998 Chart 1 Chart 2
The first published report on journal impact factors was included in E. Garfield, I.H. Sher, "New factors in the evaluation of scientific literature through citation indexing," American Documentation, 14[3]:195-201, July 1963. The late Irving H. Sher, who then was director of R&D at the Philadelphia-based Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), and I created the impact factor to help evaluate and select journals for Current Contents. The current impact factor is determined by counting citations in the current year's publications to papers published in the previous two years and dividing by the number of papers published in the same period. Editors often have complained that this measure, which records average influence in the first and second years after publication, is biased against journals in slow-moving fields. They have argued that measurement of long-term impact would show such journals in a better...

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