Tag Archives: impact factor

How to think about impact factors: A journalist’s perspective

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

This is the second of two blog posts providing different perspectives on the value of considering a journal’s impact factor when considering whether to report on a study published in it. Today I feature an interview with AHCJ Vice President Ivan Oransky, M.D., who is co-founder of Retraction Watch and founder of Embargo Watch. He also is vice president and global editorial director at MedPage Today.

Oransky brings a journalist’s perspective to the importance of journal impact factors in evaluating the value of a study. My earlier post featured an interview with Hilda Bastian, Ph.D. who has background in research. Continue reading

How to think about impact factors: A researcher’s perspective

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

Back in February, my tip sheet on the AHCJ site about evaluating the quality of a study mentioned that a journal’s impact factor may be considered in assessing whether to report on a study. While mentioned as one factor among many — and never a definitive one — it inspired a fair amount of debate on Twitter about the value, or lack thereof, of impact factors, especially given the rise of new open-access journals that haven’t been around long enough to have a high impact factor.

To add to the discussion, I reached out to two individuals with different perspectives— largely related to their differences in goals, values and needs in the spheres of research and journalism. Today’s post features a Q&A with Hilda Bastian, Ph.D., scientist, blogger at Absolutely Maybe on the Public Library of Science (PLOS) site and cartoonist at the wonderful and educational Statistically Funny site. Bastian also is a chief editor at PubMed Health and PubMed Commons, but her words here represent only her own views and not the views of any organization, including the National Institutes of Health. Bastian comes from a background of scientific research. Continue reading