Sunday, 13 May 2012

Impact Factor Vs impact ? Should We Speak More Directly to the Public ?

I've been thinking alot about the state of affairs lately in publishing research findings and how hung up we all are (or have to be) on citations and Impact Factors..there are some ethical issues involved in this striving for numbers when you consider the field we work in...

Let imagine for example that you find, through your research, that you understand a little more about how to recover from a psychological difficulty? You explore an important issue related to people with a specific health problem? a disability? What are our obligations when it comes to disseminating those findings? Should be simply be thinking that getting in the best journal is enough? Flying to the conference in the Bahamas?  Isn't this a little problematic? Will it trickle down to actual clients in the end because of the exposure of the best journals to clinicians or do we have a responsibility to actually communicate more directly with the actual people in question? How can we best do this?

Should we hold forums for the general public? Carers?

What about practitioner journals with no Impact Factor but those that are read by heaps of clinicians looking for practical help? Take ANZ Journal of Family Therapy....it is filled with "how to" papers, incredibly practical hands-on work about the real world of the therapy room? But without an Impact Factor should we put our own careers first and ignore such a journal? Wouldn't publishing in the New Idea have a bigger impact?

What about Open Access Journals...we love to hate them but is this justified?

What do people think about these issues in the light of career development?

My idea, albeit naive perhaps is that we need to innovate and be ahead of the pack in this regard..if we buck the system a little maybe eventually some leadership will be recognized when we go for promotions?


  1. The impact factor craze is definitely counter-productive. I'd even go as far to say it's damaging to the discipline, and science at large. Consider that there's an alternative route to getting the needed articles to the public - and that's self-archiving. It's commonly labeled as Green Open Access (has nothing to do with OA journals). So that's also a way to do it.

    What I wanted to ask - why do we love to hate OA journals?


  2. whats the copyright rules for this? preprint or postprint? (byu the way is that you Ivan Eisler) hows your trip to sydney?

  3. Hehe. Unfortunately, not that Ivan. =) One from far far Europe, though I'd love to take a trip to Sydney!

    The type of archiving mostly depends on what the publisher allows. A comprehensive list of archiving policies of various publishers can be found here: http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/

    I would, of course, always prefer a post-print, but that's not always allowed. For a more comprehensive discussion of open access and psychology, check out our blog. I would love to hear your opinions on it: http://jeps.efpsa.org/blog/tag/open-access/