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About the Impact Factor of i-JMR

(Toronto, 23 Jan 2016) As recently announced, Thomson Reuters, producer of the Journal Citation Reports and Web of Science and other database products, is creating a new edition of Web of Science (Emerging Sources Citation IndexESCI), and i-JMR is one of the journals selected for inclusion. We are often asked by authors "What is the impact factor of i-JMR [or another JMIR sister journal]", even if this journal is still relatively new.

The 2015 impact factor of a journal can be calculated as follows (Wikipedia):

2015 impact factor = A/B


A = the number of times that all items published in that journal in 2013 and 2014 were cited by indexed publications during 2015.
B = the total number of "citable items" published by that journal in 2013 and 2014.

The Journal Impact Factor can therefore only be calculated in year 4 of the existence of a journal (only in 2016 we know how many citations the articles from 2013-2014 accumulated in 2015), thus an impact factor is undefined for the first 4 years, and authors can only look at the number of citations their specific article produces to gather "impact" of their work! And in practice, it takes Thomson Reuters much longer than 4 years to officially list a journal in its Journal Citation Reports (JCR). In the meantime, some publishers calculate "unofficial" impact factors, which can be done for a 2015 impact factor by dividing the number of published articles in the previous two years (B) by the number of results when searching Web of Science for citing articles published in 2015 (A).

i-JMR is now finally "old" enough (>4 years) that we can comment on the projected impact factor.

The projected (unofficial) impact factor for i-JMR (2015) is 1.6, calculated from 56 citations (citing articles from 2015) divided by 35 published articles 2013-2014

To stress again, this is the calculated impact factor based on Eugene Garfield's (founder of ISI) formula and Web of Science data, but i-JMR is not (yet) listed in JCR, so it does not have an official Impact Factor. The projected impact factor represents the average number of citations for our articles published in 2013-2014. This is a conservative measure which is still increasing, because the Web of Science search was conducted early 2016, while the number of citations in 2015 may still increase, as the index catches up on 2015 publications. Also note that there are hardly any journal self-citations.

This confirms i-JMR as a journal that is - while perhaps not a top cited journal such as JMIR - an above-average cited journal, which is cited more often than half of the journals listed in the JCR General Medicine category (the median impact factor for the 154 journals in that category was 1.276 in 2014, meaning that i-JMR would be in the upper half of the officially ranked JCR journals). This is a remarkable achievement for a new journal, and it mirrors the success of other JMIR sister journals such as JMIR mHealth and uHealth (projected IF: 2.03) or JMIR Serious Games (projected IF: 1.8).

In the meantime, while we await the official Thomson Reuters report with i-JMR included, we hope that Tenure & Promotion Commitee's will follow the recommendations of the DORA statement, which recommends to take into account other metrics (in particular article-level metrics, but also "proxy calculations" such as the one conducted above), while we are awaiting an "official" impact factor. We invite authors who are faced with questions from their T&P Committee to include this calculation.