Origins of measures of journal impact: Historical contingencies and their effect on current use

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This paper examines the genesis of journal impact measures and how their evolution culminated in the journal impact factor (JIF) produced by the Institute for Scientific Information. The paper shows how the form of the JIF, which is the result of historically contingent choices rather than a carefully chosen and tested set of features, affected its subsequent use, misuse, and manipulation by researchers, journal editors, and bibliometricians.

This content has been updated on June 2nd, 2017 at 14 h 01 min.