“There are a number of problems with this approach. First of all, the journal IF is a journal-level metric, not an article-level metric, and its use to determine the impact of a single article is statistically flawed since citation distribution is skewed for all journals, with a very small number of articles driving the vast majority of citations (3, 4). Furthermore, impact does not equal importance (5) or advancement to the field, and the pursuit of a high IF, whether at the article or journal level, may misdirect research efforts away from more important priorities. The causes for the unhealthy obsession with IF are complex (2). High-IF journals limit the number of their publications to create an artificial scarcity and generate the perception that exclusivity is a marker of quality. The relentless pursuit of high-IF publications has been detrimental for science (2, 5). This behavior is an example of the economic phenomenon known as the “tragedy of the commons” (6), in which individuals engage in a behavior that benefits them individually at the expense of communal interests. Individual scientists receive disproportionate rewards for articles in high-IF journals, but science as a whole suffers from a distorted value system, delayed communication of results as authors shop for the journal with the highest IF that will publish their work, and perverse incentives for sloppy or dishonest work (2). Since many investigators consider IFs in deciding where to submit their manuscripts, many journals list their IFs on their websites, and until now American Society for Microbiology (ASM) journals have been no exception.”

ASM Journals Eliminate Impact Factor Information from Journal Websites.  For the full article, please click here