impact factor

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In medical and scientific journals, the impact factor is a measure of the timeliness and frequency with which original articles in a specific journal are cited by authors of articles in other journals that are indexed in the Science Citation Index, a publication of the Institute for Scientific Information. It is regarded by many editors and editorial management committees as a measure of the “importance” of particular journals, and to some extent this is true: journals such as Nature, Science, Lancet, British Medical Journal, JAMA, and New England Journal of Medicine have a high impact factor; but there is debate among science and medical journal editors about the significance of this.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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