Journal impact factor and its importance for AFP

Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Published Version.

van Driel, M. L., Magin, P. J., Del Mar, C. B., Furler, J., & De Maeseneer, J. (2008). Journal impact factor and its importance for AFP. Australian family physician, 37(9), 770-773.

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2008 HERDC submission. FoR Code: 1103

© Copyright The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, 2008


BACKGROUND In 2008, Australian Family Physician (AFP) was accepted on the list of journals listed in Science Citation Index Expanded and, thus, will generate an impact factor over the next 2 years. Impact factor is important to authors from research and academic backgrounds and will make AFP an increasingly attractive journal in which to publish.

AIM To describe the impact factor, its method of calculation, and its flaws.

DISCUSSION Impact factor is the number of a journal's cited research papers divided by the total number of citable papers it has published. It is distorted by several different factors: sub-discipline, region, basic versus applied research, and whether the journal editor deliberately tries to strategically increase their impact factor.

CONCLUSION Impact factor is an oversimplified single measure of 'impact', which may underestimate the contribution of the AFP to society. However, no accepted alternative metric currently exists.



This document has been peer reviewed.