Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Public Library of Science: The First Impact Factor for PLoS Biology --- 13.9

Public Library of Science: The First Impact Factor for PLoS Biology --- 13.9:
"The open-access journal PLoS Biology has been assessed by Thomson ISI to have an impact factor of 13.9*, which places PLoS Biology among the most highly cited journals in the life sciences. This is an outstanding statistic for a journal less than two years old, from a new publisher promoting a new business model that supports open access to the scientific and medical literature."
This is indeed an impressive statistic given it includes only articles from the first three issues of the journal. PLoS is one of the leaders in developing new models for scholarly communication. The Open Access publishing model they have developed has been well-received in the scientific community.

Equally interesting is the ISI model for calculating the impact factor for the journal:
Thomson ISI calculated the impact factors that it announced this year by counting all the citations in 2004 to content that appeared in 2002 and 2003 and then dividing that number by the number of articles published in 2002 and 2003. For a long-standing journal, therefore, this number reflects the mean (average) number of citations over the course of a year to articles published over the two prior years. For PLoS Biology, this number refers only to articles published in its first three issues in the fall of 2003, which is why the initial impact factor is considered preliminary.
Theological Librarians often puzzle over how one might measure impact. This is an interesting model.