Journal impact factors - issues and limitations

There are many articles in the literature that discuss the issues and limitations of using journal impact factors:

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.

Creative Commons License

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