Last week, Thomson Reuters released the 2014 edition of the Journal Citation Reports (JCR). This annual report includes several journal performance metrics, the best known of which is certainly the Impact Factor. The Impact Factor measures the citation performance of journal articles over a two-year period.
Like all metrics, the Impact Factor has its strengths and weaknesses, its champions and detractors. At JBJS, we are focused on a range of metrics, including the quality of articles submitted to us for publication, author satisfaction, and direct reader feedback and engagement.
Having said that, we wish to acknowledge the painstaking work by our Editor-in-Chief, Editorial Board, reviewers, and authors who contributed to a second straight year of dramatic growth in our Impact Factor, which increased 22.5% to 5.280 (from 4.309). That’s the highest Impact Factor among the 72 orthopaedic journals included in the JCR.
We’re proud that JBJS is having a steadily increasing influence as a source of orthopaedic information. Our ultimate goal remains the same, however – to have a positive impact on surgical expertise, clinical outcomes, and patient care.
–Mady Tissenbaum, Publisher, JBJS
The Impact Factor uses a simple calculation – number of citations to scholarly articles published in a two-year period divided by the number of those articles. The resulting number allows various constituencies to compare the purported intellectual impact of a particular journal against other comparable journals and to trend impact over time.
For years, The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery has focused on giving surgeons at the interface of clinical practice and academic research the best information possible, making the Impact Factor a number we didn’t focus on much. Our measurements of reader feedback and engagement have been much more important, and will continue to be.
Still, imagine our pleasant surprise when this year our Impact Factor rose dramatically, increasing 33% from 3.234 to 4.309. In addition, measurements such as what Thomson Reuters calls the “Article Influence Score” roughly doubled for JBJS.
There are many reasons for increases like this, but excellent editorial content is clearly the leading candidate for praise. As you know, Vern Tolo, MD, recently transitioned out of the role of Editor-in-Chief for The Journal. He clearly deserves much of the credit for these numbers, which occurred under his careful editorial stewardship. The Journal’s superb Deputy Editors, methodology and statistical consultants, and editorial staff also deserve praise for consistently pushing the standards of The Journal higher.
Best of all, our Impact Factor rose while our engagement with readers also increased. Recent readership surveys show that our readers are reading us in print as much as ever, online more than ever, and engaging with our social media outlets more and more every day..
We’re proud that JBJS has increasing impact as an orthoapedic journal. Our goal remains the same, however – to have a positive impact on surgical expertise, patient care, and outcomes.