The Inflation of Impact Factors of Scientific Journals

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Abstract

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Keeping an overview: Nowadays, we are confronted with a multitude of different impact indicators. This essay discusses some of the problems of citation analysis—and of indicators claiming to give a measure of the standing of a scholarly periodical. Incomplete data sets and the (mostly forgotten) highly skewed distribution of papers by cites (see figure) are two of the most critical points of the journal impact calculation.

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