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Changes in the impact factor of anesthesia/critical care journals within the past 10 years

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Background:

The impact factor (IF) is published by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). There is a tendency to assess quality of scientific journals with the help of the IF. An analysis of the changes in the IF over time in the different specialities may help to further enlighten the worth and problems of the IF.

Methods:

The IFs listed under the subheadings Anesthesiology and Emergency Medicine & Critical Care in the Science Citation Index – Journal Citation Report were descriptively analysed over the past 10 years. Additionally, IFs of some other important journals (subheadings Surgery, Cardiovascular, General Medicine) were analysed.

Results:

The IF of most of the journals showed a constant increase over the years (average in Anesthesiology: +65%; average in Emergency Medicine & Critical Care: +145%). IFs of the highest ranked journals of other specialities showed a similar increase over the years (average in surgical journals: +56%; average in cardiac journals: +59%; average in general journals: +40%). More Anesthesiology and Emergency Medicine & Critical Care journals originated from the USA show an IF >2.0 over the past 10 years than do European journals.

Conclusion:

Although the value of the IF is highly controversial, it is a frequently used tool to assess rating of a medical journal. Anesthesiology and Emergency Medicine & Critical Care journals showed a continuous increase in the IF over the past 10 years.

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Keywords: Impact factor (IF); Journal Citation Report; Science Citation Index; anesthesiology; critical care; emergency medicine &; scientific quality

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Klinikum der Stadt Ludwigshafen, Germany

Publication date: 2000-08-01

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