The distribution of citations in the context of Journal Impact Factor

February 13, 2014

Nature editor Noah Gray Twittered a link to a 2003 Editorial in Nature Neuroscience.

The key takeaway is in the figure (which Noah also twittered).


In 2003 the JIF for Nature Neuroscience was 15.14, for J Neuro 8.05 and for Brain Research 2.474. Nature itself was 30.98.

Plenty of people refer to the skew and the relative influence of a handful of very highly cited papers but it is interesting and more memorable to see in graphical form, isn’t it?


4 Responses to “The distribution of citations in the context of Journal Impact Factor”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    it would make more sense to plot it in a cumulative format instead


  2. mikka Says:

    So, in a nutshell, if you want to estimate the impact of a paper from the journal it’s published in, the worst estimator you could pick is the arithmetic mean of the impact of previously published papers.


  3. Anonymous Says:

    But even if you measure the median, the relative “rating” of the journals remains.


  4. Anonymous Says:

    So even if you use the median, the relative rating of the journals stilll stands.


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