After much anticipation, repetitive strain from hitting F5 and keeping our eyes peeled for updates on Twitter, the 2013 impact factors were finally released earlier this week. Overall it’s positive news for the journals at the Society for General Microbiology.
There’s much debate about the worthiness of impact factors nowadays, with more nuanced ways of measuring a manuscript and journal’s importance now available. There are also arguments to be made about the influence that these kinds of measurements can have on the development of academic research. For now, though, they have a historical importance which means that it is hard to not wait anxiously for the results.
Two Society journals, Journal of General Virology (JGV) and International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (IJSEM), saw an increase in both their impact factor and 5 year impact factor compared to 2012 data. JGV’s impact factor rose from 3.127 (2012) to 3.529 (2013), whilst IJSEM rose to 2.798 (2013) from 2.112 (2012). This is especially good news for JGV as some of our competitor journals’ impact factors dropped.
Microbiology maintained a steady impact factor at 2.835 but its five year impact factor rose to 3.235 indicating the long-term value of the journal’s content. Internal plans on how to increase Microbiology’s impact have been well under way for the last 12 months, and plans are already in place to develop the journal further.
Unfortunately Journal of Medical Microbiology saw a slight decrease in its impact factor to 2.266. However, the journal made the executive decision to stop publishing case reports in 2013, and the consequences of this in relation to impact factor scoring likely won’t be seen until at least 2016.
JMM’s sister journal, JMM Case Reports, launched in January 2014, and as of yet doesn’t have an impact factor. It’s commonly known within STM publishing that case reports very rarely attract citations and for the Society’s first online only, gold OA journal, it’s likely that we’ll also use a more ‘modern’ way of measuring its success.
Ultimately these latest impact factors have brought positive news to the journals’ Editorial Boards and especially to our Publishing staff as we move forwards in developing the Society’s growing portfolio.