Journal impact factors - issues and limitations
There are many articles in the literature that discuss the issues and limitations of using journal impact factors:
- Not-so-deep impact Nature, ISSN 0028-0836, 06/2005, Volume 435, Issue 7045, pp. 1003 - 1004
- Impact Factor, Impact, and Smoke and Mirrors by Mannino, David M American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine, ISSN 1073-449X, 02/2005, Volume 171, Issue 4, p. 417
Journal coverage and bias
No one tool includes every journal and inclusion of other types of research output can be patchy. JCR and WOS in particular include a relatively modest number of journals and very few conference proceedings, books and open access journals. It has a particular English language bias.
Scopus has a better geographical spread of publications and does include some conference papers and open access journals.
Overall, however, those disciplines reliant on non-journal output (such as humanities, applied technologies or engineering, computer science) will tend to fare better using Google Scholar.
A UCD academic articulates some of the issues in her field:
"We publish in books and monographs and in peer-reviewed journals. However, we have a range of real requirements that include official reporting to state agencies and authorities; public archeology and communication in regional and local journals and in interdisciplinary publication across several journals, that most bibliometrics are incapable of measuring" UCD academic.
My RI by University College Dublin, Dublin City University, Dublin Institute of Technology, The National University of Ireland, Maynooth and the NDLR adapted by Marion Kelt, Glasgow Caledonian University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at http://www.ndlr.ie/myri/.