05 July 2012
Our first impact factor
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Stockholm, Sweden
Citation style for this article: Steffens I. Our first impact factor. Euro Surveill. 2012;17(27):pii=20214. Available online: http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=20214
Date of submission:
05 July 2012
It’s here: the first impact factor for Eurosurveillance. On 28 June 2012, Thomson Reuters published the 2011 impact factors: an exciting 6.15 places Eurosurveillance at rank 6 among the 70 journals in the category Infectious Diseases  and thus puts us prominently on the global scientific community map.
‘We don’t have one’ used to be the answer when we were asked about the impact factor for the journal. This changed in 2009, when Eurosurveillance was accepted and listed for the impact factor, and we were able to say ‘We’ll get it’. Now we have it, we are more than pleased with the encouraging 6.15, which is similar to that of leading journals in the field. We regard it as an endorsement of our work and editorial policy. It also justifies the confidence shown by our contributors in the many strengths of Eurosurveillance and our ability to reach the right audience in the years when we did not yet have an impact factor. It is also a testament to the dedication of the Editors-in-chief and various editorial teams during the journal’s 15-year history , whose hard work has led to making the journal what it is today.
The figure of 6.15 gives us a firm basis on which to build in the future. It will help us to attract the best and most relevant papers for our readers in the field of infectious disease surveillance and epidemiology. Eurosurveillance will, of course, continue to serve as a platform for the public health community across Europe, in order to ensure that all relevant findings are shared internationally. We will keep on striving to provide timely information that supports infectious disease prevention and control. In so doing, we aim to influence the public health agenda and stimulate scientific debate.
In 1955, Eugene Garfield first presented the concept of an impact factor in a paper in Science  and the concept evolved over time . The 2011 impact factor is computed using the total number of citable articles published in a given journal in 2009 and 2010 as the denominator and the number of times these articles are cited in indexed journals in 2011 as the numerator. The resulting figure is widely considered as an indicator of the scientific impact of a journal, and publishing in journals with a high impact factor is a requirement for an academic career in many institutions.
It is not news that the impact factor is a much debated and controversial indicator [5-7], but commonly accepted alternative measures remain to be developed. One way of assessing the impact of articles and journals is the ranking of the Faculty of 1000, which selects articles for post-publication peer review . Eurosurveillance is proud to have had five of its papers selected and ranked as ‘must read’  and ‘recommended’ [10-13]. Other suggested ways to measure journal impact are the h-index  and the Scopus-based SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) . The latter gives an indication of how the average article of a journal influences science: citations from highly cited journals weigh more than those from low-cited ones. Thus the average article published in a journal with a higher SJR is considered more central to the scientific discussion than those of journals with a lower SJR. The 2011 SJR ranks Eurosurveillance at 61 of 1,597 journals in the field of medicine .
While equipped with a good impact factor and ranking in the SJR and well positioned among other journals in our field, Eurosurveillance aims to progress still further and we expect to attract a number of new contributors. An online submission system, due to be launched later this year, will help us to process submissions more efficiently. We have already started using a plagiarism-detection software. Moreover, we have entered the world of social media by setting up a Twitter account earlier this year. A steady increase of ‘followers’ of the journal, by on average two to three per day, shows we are on the right track. We also plan to set up Eurosurveillance pages on several social network sites soon. Watch out for them.
In times when open access ‘mega journals’ – publishing several thousands of articles a year – are evolving, more journals are moving towards offering open access and new business models are emerging, such as offering authors publishing flat rates. Having a non-commercial publisher allows us to provide a platform also for authors with limited financial resources or those from less-resourced institutions. In this way, we contribute to broadening the evidence base within our scope.
Even if the impact factor boosts the reputation of the journal, we will keep on doing things the Eurosurveillance way. We have developed many strong personal ties with our contributors and have built a solid network of collaborators and advisors: we are grateful for their involvement over the years and thank them once again for their support. By our commitment to serving authors, reviewers and the greater scientific community, we actively participate in providing high-quality information for the benefit of public health.
- Thomson Reuters. Journal Citation Reports. Journal summary list. New York, NY: Thomson Reuters. [Accessed 4 Jul 2012]. Available from: http://admin-apps.webofknowledge.com/JCR/JCR?RQ=LIST_SUMMARY_JOURNAL
- Nicoll A. Eurosurveillance – fifteen years of serving Europe. Euro Surveill. 2011;16(45):pii=20015. Available from: http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=20015
- Garfield E. Citation indexes for science: a new dimension in documentation through association of ideas. Science. 1955;122(3159):108-11.
- Garfield E. The history and meaning of the journal impact factor. JAMA. 2006;295(1):90-3.
- Seglen PO. Why the impact factor of journals should not be used for evaluating research. BMJ. 1997;314(7079):498-502.
- Vanclay JK. The impact factor: outdated artefact or stepping-stone to journal certification? Scientometrics.2011. DOI: 10.1007/s11192-011-0561-0. Available from: https://springerlink3.metapress.com/content/1562850q11407l60/resource-secured/?target=fulltext.pdf&sid=bhhqwsbdv5yggp5nudpmtpfm&sh=www.springerlink.com
- Butler D. Free journal-ranking tool enters citation market. Nature. 2008;451(7174):6.
- Faculty of 1000 (F1000). London: F1000. [Accessed 4 Jul 2012]. Available from: http://f1000.com/
- Lipsitch M. "This report from New Zealand is nuanced and comprehensive; it is perhaps the first picture..." of: [Baker MG et al. Pandemic influenza A(H1N1)v in New Zealand: the experience from April to August 2009. Euro Surveill. 2009;14(34):pii=19319]. Faculty of 1000, 3 Nov 2009. F1000.com/1166489#eval627479. Available from: http://f1000.com/1166489#eval627479
- Kirkcaldy R, Berman S. "This report is of significant public health importance as it documents the first gonorrhoea oral..." of: [Unemo M et al. Two cases of verified clinical failures using internationally recommended first-line cefixime for gonorrhoea treatment, Norway, 2010. Euro Surveill. 2010;15(47):pii=19721]. Faculty of 1000, 15 Dec 2010. F1000.com/6933956#eval7124054. Available from: http://f1000.com/6933956#eval7124054
- Hayes E. "This article reports the first autochthonous transmission of dengue in Europe since the dengue outbreak..." of: [La Ruche G et al. First two autochthonous dengue virus infections in metropolitan France, September 2010. Euro Surveill. 2010;15(39):pii=19676]. Faculty of 1000, 1 Nov 2010. F1000.com/5754956#eval5737058. Available from: http://f1000.com/5754956#eval5737058
- Lagacé-Wiens P. "This study shows that, in addition to Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolates showing resistance to oral third-generation..." of: [de Vries HJ et al. Multidrug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae with reduced cefotaxime susceptibility is increasingly common in men who have sex with men, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Euro Surveill. 2009;14(37):pii=19330]. Faculty of 1000, 2 Dec 2009. F1000.com/1247957#eval716056. Available from: http://f1000.com/1247957#eval716056
- Warrell M. "This case report is a salutary reminder that bat lyssaviruses are continuing to ‘emerge..." of: [van Thiel PP et al. Fatal case of human rabies (Duvenhage virus) from a bat in Kenya: The Netherlands, December 2007. Euro Surveill. 2008; 13(2):pii=8007]. Faculty of 1000, 8 Apr 2008. F1000.com/1103585#eval559662. Available from: http://f1000.com/1103585#eval559662
- Hirsch JE. An index to quantify an individual's scientific research output. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005;102(46):16569-72.
- SCImago. SJR – journal rank. [Accessed 4 Jul 2012]. Available from: http://www.scimagojr.com/journalrank.php?category=2701&area=0&year=2011&country=&order=sjr&min=0&min_type=cd&page=1
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