For people unaware of impact factor, it is the AP Top 25 for scientific journals. It provides a score for every journal based on how often scientific articles cite articles published by the journal. The number of citations is divided by the number of articles published so just pushing a lot of crap through in hopes that some of it gets cited does not inflate your score. The top three medical journals are NEJM, Lancet and JAMA in that order. Journal editors spend a lot of time worrying, strategizing and optimizing in order to improve Impact Factor.
I had the privilege of going to the AJKD editors meeting Kidney Week and saw first hand how IF colors a lot of what they do. Editor in chief, Dr. Levey talked about change in IF over the last decade and what happened over the last year. Then he talked about the different sections of the journal. One recurring entry are the narrative reviews. He says that these are rarely cited so increase the denominator of the IF without moving the numerator. Despite the fact that these hurt the IF they publish them anyways because they see it as part of their mission. Not every journal editor’s morals are so straight.
A different scoring system, called the H-index is used to rank authors and scientists.
- PBFluids edged RFN with 3.02, good for 19th place among the 60 blogs he ranked.
- Renal Fellow Network came in right below PBF with a 2.94, good enough to tie for 20th on the list.
- eAJKD, scores 2.86, good for 21st place.
- Nephron Power had 2.18, good for 36th place.
- Alexa is the website rank according to Alexa.com. Mine was 4,589,000. Enter the rank divided by 1,000. This is a measure of traffic.
- Page Rank is google’s measure of quality by its analysis of incoming links (and likely a bunch more secret ingredients). You can find out a sites page rank here.
- Twitter is the number of followers of the principle author.
- Facebook is the number of likes for the blog on its facebook page.
- Google+ is some metric around this failed social media site.