The “Impact Factor”
What does a journal’s “impact factor” mean?
Essentially, the impact factor is a calculation of how frequently the articles in the journal are cited elsewhere—that is, the level of impact that the research in a journal has beyond itself. The higher the impact number, the better the journal is perceived.
The impact factor is a creation of Thomson Reuters. A helpful essay by the founder of Thomson Reuters (then named The Institute for Scientific Information®) can be scanned quickly here (use link below).
Here’s a recent SLP example, shared by Dr. Yaruss: Pascal van Lieshout, Editor in Chief for the Journal of Fluency Disorders (JFD) reported at the International Fluency Association (IFA) conference in France earlier this month that the impact factor for JFD is 4.8 – a record high and much higher than other journals in the field. Several of the most cited papers involve issues related to the speaker’s experience of stuttering (including factors such as anxiety and quality of life, which are evaluated through the OASES).