Should the impact factor of the year of publication or the last available one be used when evaluating scientists?
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Aim of study: A common procedure when evaluating scientists is considering the journal's quartile of impact factors (within a category), many times considering the quartile in the year of publication instead of the last available ranking. We tested whether the extra work involved in considering the quartiles of each particular year is justified. Area of study: Europe. Material and methods: we retrieved information from all papers published in 2008-2012 by researchers of AGROTECNIO, a centre focused in a range of agri-food subjects. Then, we validated the results observed for AGROTECNIO against five other European independent research centres: Technical University of Madrid (UPM) and the Universities of Nottingham (UK), Copenhagen (Denmark), Helsinki (Finland), and Bologna (Italy). Main results: The relationship between the actual impact of the papers and the impact factor quartile of a journal within its category was not clear, although for evaluations based on recently published papers there might not be much better indicators. We found unnecessary to determine the rank of the journal for the year of publication as the outcome of the evaluation using the last available rank was virtually the same. Research highlights: We confirmed that the journal quality reflects only vaguely the quality of the papers, and reported for the first time evidences that using the journal rank from the particular year that papers were published represents an unnecessary effort and therefore evaluation should be done simply considering the last available rank.
Is part ofSpanish Journal Of Agricultural Research, 2020, vol. 18, num. 3, eM01
European research projects
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Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as cc-by (c) Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA), 2020
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