The journal impact factor 2019

DOI: 10.3238/dzz-int.2020.0206-0213

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Citation: Türp CJ: The journal impact factor 2019. Dtsch Zahnärztl Z Int 2020; 2: 206–213

DOI.org/10.3238/dzz-int.2020.0206–0213

 

At the beginning of summer 2020, the names and rankings of the scientific journals with a Journal Impact Factor (JIF) for the year 2019 were released (InCites Journal Citation Reports, Clarivate Analytics). Presently, 12,827 journals have a JIF value. In the following, as regularly since 2015 [22–26], the current JIFs from den­tistry are presented and compared to the scientific journals with the highest JIF. Furthermore, the Median Impact Factor (MIF) of the category Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Medicine is compared with that of other disciplines.

Included journals

In the calculation year 2019, 91 dental journals can adorn themselves with a JIF (Table 1). The International Journal of Implant Dentistry (rank 32) was included for the first time. The French Révue de Stomatologie, de Chirurgie Maxillo-Faciale et de Chirurgie Orale is now only represented under its English title Journal of Stomatology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

The JIF values for 2019 cover a range from 0.111 (Australasian Orthodontic Journal) to 7.718 (Periodontology 2000). For a frame of reference, table 2 lists the 20 scientific journals with the highest JIF. It should be noted that only about 2 % of all scientific journals have a JIF of 10 or higher [10].

Rise and fall

Compared to the previous year, 41 journals have deteriorated in their ranking. Nevertheless, 57 of the 90 journal titles that allow a comparison show a higher JIF than in 2018.

The five periodicals with the strongest JIF or JIF rank changes up (improvement) and down (deterioration) are listed in tables 3 and 4. “Winners of the 2019 JIF year” are mainly the Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice and the European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry. “Losers of the year” are the European Journal of Dental Education, the Australian Endodontic Journal, and Pediatric Dentistry.

The renaming of the Révue de Stomatologie, de Chirurgie Maxillo- Faciale et de Chirurgie Orale, founded in 1874 and steeped in tradition, into Journal of Stomatology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in 2017 is an example of how a change of name and language may be accompanied by a noticeable increase in the JIF. While the JIF of the French-language journal fluctuated between 0.247 (2016) and 0.472 (2018), the JIF was already 0.962 in 2018 and 1.152 in 2019 after the language change (Table 5). The fact that the significantly higher JIF was accompanied by equally clear discontent in the French dental community is a different story.1

1 “La Revue de stomatologie de chirurgie maxillo-faciale et de chirurgie orale va passer, à partir du premier numéro de l’année 2017 (volume 118), à l’anglais exclusif.”. With this memorable sentence – announced quasi ex cathedra – the upcoming name change was heralded in November 2016 [13]. One can easily imagine that this met with little enthusiasm in the country of Molière and Voltaire, as can be seen from a remark published in the following issue of the journal: “If this evolution is upsetting to some of you, we are sincerely sorry to hear it.” [17], as well as from the confession that “[i]t was not easy, however, for our established base of authors, who were somewhat disconcerted to find that articles were no longer accepted when submitted in French, for our loyal readership that was unaccustomed to reading papers written exclusively in English, or for the editorial team that had to adapt to the foreign language that English was for most of them.” [17].

Median Impact Factor

The Median Impact Factor (MIF) is the median value of all JIFs in a defined subject category. Dentistry increased its last year‘s MIF from 1.565 to 1.766, the highest value in its history. At the same time, dentistry jumped 15 places up from 2018.

Nevertheless, our discipline has to accept that it remains within the (upper) fourth fifth compared to the other 235 subject categories (Table 6). Place 145 means, however, that only four ranks up to the middle fifth are missing.

Dentistry is in the best scientific company with its ranking. This is revealed by looking at the disciplines whose MIF is lower. These include such “insignificant” fields as nuclear physics (MIF: 1.695, rank 154), ear, nose and throat medicine (MIF: 1.684, rank 157), general and internal medicine (MIF: 1.681, rank 158), sociology (MIF: 1.328, rank 199), veterinary medicine (MIF: 1.129, rank 218) and law (MIF: 1.031, rank 222) – but also the (besides philosophy, which is not included in the ranking) “mother of all sciences,” namely mathematics (MIF: 0.797, rank 229) – as well as applied mathematics (MIF: 1.172, rank 212), and logic (MIF: 0.674, rank 232). Against this background, the JIP-related performance of dentistry can be described as solid and respectable.

JIF

Rank

2019

Journal

JIF

2019

JIF

2018

JIF

Rank

2018

1

Periodontology 2000

7.718

7.861

1

2

Journal of Clinical Periodontology

5.241

4.164

4

3

Journal of Dental Research

4.914

5.125

2

4

Dental Materials

4.495

4.440

3

5

Oral Oncology

3.979

3.730

6

6

International Endodontic Journal

3.801

3.331

7

7

Journal of Periodontology

3.742

2.768

14

8

Clinical Oral Implants Research

3.723

3.825

5

9

Clinical Implant Dentistry and Related Research

3.396

3.212

10

10

Journal of Dentistry

3.242

3.280

9

11

Journal of Endondontics

3.118

2.833

12

12

International Journal of Oral Science

3.047

2.750

15

13

Journal of Periodontal Research

2.926

2.613

18

14

Molecular Oral Microbiology

2.905

2.925

11

15

Clinical Oral Investigations

2.812

2.453

21

16

Journal of the American Dental Association

2.803

2.572

19

17

Journal of Prosthodontic Research

2.662

2.636

16

18

European Journal of Oral Implantology

2.619

2.513

20

19

Oral Diseases

2.613

2.625

17

20

Journal of Oral Pathology & Medicine

2.495

2.030

28

21

Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry

2.444

2.787

13

22

Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice

2.426

1.253

67

23

Journal of Adhesive Dentistry

2.379

1.875

34

24

International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Implants

2.320

1.734

40

25

Journal of Oral Rehabilitation

2.304

2.341

22

26

European Journal of Oral Sciences

2.220

1.810

37

27

Operative Dentistry

2.213

2.027

29

28

European Journal of Orthodontics

2.202

1.841

35

29

Journal of Prosthodontics – Implant, Esthetic, and Reconstructive Dentistry

2.187

2.172

25

30

Caries Research

2.186

2.326

23

31

Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology

2.135

2.278

24

32

International Journal of Implant Dentistry

2.111

---

---

33

International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

2.068

1.961

30

34

International Dental Journal

2.038

1.628

45

35

International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry

1.993

2.057

26

36

American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics

1.960

1.911

32

37

Archives of Oral Biology

1.931

1.663

44

38

BMC Oral Health

1.911

2.048

27

39

Head & Face Medicine

1.882

1.492

53

40

Journal of Periodontal and Implant Science

1.847

1.472

55

41

Odontology

1.840

1.813

36

42

Progress in Orthodontics

1.822

1.381

62

43

Journal of Applied Oral Science

1.797

1.506

50

44

Dentomaxillofacial Radiology

1.796

1.525

49

45

Journal of Esthetic and Restorative Dentistry

1.786

1.716

41

46

Journal of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery

1.766

1.942

31

47

Journal of Public Health Dentistry

1.743

1.350

64

48

International Journal of Computerized Dentistry

1.714

1.208

71

49

Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

1.642

1.781

38

50

Brazilian Oral Research

1.633

1.773

39

51

Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology

1.601

1.690

43

52

Medicina Oral, Patología Oral y Cirugía Bucal

1.596

1.284

65

53

Pediatric Dentistry

1.594

3.312

8

54

Acta Odontologica Scandinavica

1.573

1.565

46

55

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Clinics of North America

1.554

0.935

79

56

Angle Orthodontist

1.549

1.880

33

57

Dental Traumatology

1.530

1.494

52

58

International Journal of Periodontics & Restorative Dentistry

1.513

1.228

69

59

Journal of Advanced Prosthodontics

1.504

1.360

63

60

European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry

1.500

0.870

82

61

International Journal of Prosthodontics

1.490

1.533

47

62

Quintessence International

1.460

1.392

61

63

Orthodontics & Craniofacial Research

1.455

0.946

78

64

Implant Dentistry

1.452

1.214

70

65

Journal of Oral Implantology

1.424

1.062

76

66

Australian Dental Journal

1.401

1.282

66

67

Dental Materials Journal

1.359

1.424

60

68

Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal

1.347

1.471

56

69

Gerodontology

1.339

1.460

57

70

Korean Journal of Orthodontics

1.326

1.476

54

71

Journal of Dental Education

1.322

1.506

50

72

British Dental Journal

1.306

1.438

59

73

Journal of Orofacial Orthopedics – Fortschritte der Kieferorthopädie

1.286

0.927

80

74

Journal of Oral Facial Pain & Headache

1.260

1.443

58

75

International Journal of Dental Hygiene

1.229

1.233

68

76

Journal of Oral Science

1.200

1.104

74

76

Journal of the Canadian Dental Association

1.200

0.759

84

78

Cranio – The Journal of Craniomandibular Practice

1.173

1.144

73

79

Journal of Stomatology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

(bis Dezember 2016: Révue de Stomatologie, de Chirurgie Maxillo-Faciale et de Chirurgie Orale)

1.152

0.962

77

80

Australian Endodontic Journal

1.120

1.714

42

81

British Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

1.061

1.164

72

82

European Journal of Dental Education

1.050

1.531

48

83

Journal of Dental Sciences

1.034

0.798

83

84

American Journal of Dentistry

0.957

0.720

86

85

Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry

0.920

0.902

81

86

Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry

0.798

0.731

85

87

Community Dental Health

0.679

1.079

75

88

Seminars in Orthodontics

0.625

0.465

89

89

Oral Radiology

0.540

0.681

87

90

Implantologie

0.123

0.074

91

91

Australasian Orthodontic Journal

(bis Dezember 2017: Australian Orthodontic Journal)

0.113

0.269

90

Table 1 (Continuation) Journal Impact Factor (JIF) for the year 2019 for the 91 journals listed in the category Dentistry (including Oral Surgery and Medicine) with comparison to the JIF of the previous year (n = 91)

Incorrect application of the JIF

The fact that the JIF is not suitable for mapping the individual performance of an author was explained in detail in previous years [22–26]. Nonetheless, such erroneous attribution is still commonplace at many academic institutions.

This practice, however, reveals another cardinal error which relates to the attribution of the respective JIF value to a journal. It has become a common practice that immediately after the publication of an article in a journal, the respective authors (whose number is in part hardly comprehensibly high) are “credited” with the current JIF of that journal. As a rule, this numerical value is not corrected later, so that the value once assigned (which is wrong without exception, since it comes from a previous year) remains unchanged.

JIF Rank

2019

Journal

JIF

2019

1

CA-A Cancer Journal for Clinicians

292.278

2

New England Journal of Medicine

74.699

3

Nature Reviews Materials

71.189

4

Nature Reviews Drug Discovery

64.797

5

Lancet

60.392

6

WHO Technical Support Series

59.000

7

Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology

55.470

8

Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology

53.276

9

Nature Reviews Cancer

53.030

10

Chemical Reviews

52.758

11

Nature Energy

46.495

12

Journal of the American Medical Association

45.540

13

Reviews of Modern Physics

45.037

14

Chemical Society Reviews

42.846

15

Nature

42.778

16

Science

41.845

17

Nature Reviews Disease Primers

40.689

18

World Psychiatry

40.595

19

Nature Reviews Immunology

40.358

20

Nature Materials

38.663

Table 2 The 20 scientific journals with the highest Journal Impact Factor (JIF) in 2019 (n = 12,828). Note: In the official ranking list of InCites Journal Citation Reports, rank 18 is – most probably by mistake – occupied twice by the same journal (World Psychiatry), so that the counting continues there with rank 20, leaving out rank 19. For this reason, rank 20 in table 3 corresponds to rank 21 in the official ranking.

 

Rank according to extent of change

Journal

JIF change

2018 → 2019

1

Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice

1,173

2

Journal of Clinical Periodontology

1,077

3

Journal of Periodontology

0,974

4

European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry

0,630

5

Oral and Maxillofacial Clinics of North America

0,619

87

Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry

–0,343

88

European Journal of Dental Education

–0,481

89

Orthodontics & Craniofacial Research

–0,509

90

Australian Endodontic Journal

–0,594

91

Pediatric Dentistry

–1,718

Table 3 Comparison of the years 2018 and 2019: The five journals with the strongest increase (plus values; change ranks 1 to 5) and the strongest decrease in their JIF (minus values; change ranks 87 to 91).

 

Rank according to extent of change

Journal

Rank change

2018 → 2019

1

Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice

45

2

International Journal of Computerized Dentistry

23

3

European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry

22

4

Progress in Orthodontics

20

5

Journal of Public Health Dentistry

17

87

Journal of Dental Education

–21

88

Angle Orthodontist

–23

89

European Journal of Dental Education

–34

90

Australian Endodontic Journal

–38

91

Pediatric Dentistry

–45

Table 4 Comparison of the years 2018 and 2019: The five journals with the strongest increase (plus values; change ranks 1 to 5) or decrease in their JIF rank (minus values; change ranks 87 to 91).

 

Year

Title

JIF

2019

JSOMS

1.152

2018

0.962

2018

RSCMCO

0.472

2017

0.411

2016

0.247

2015

0.248

2014

0.305

2013

0.298

2012

0.388

2011

0.250

2010

0.261

2009

0.349

Table 5 Development of the JIF of the Révue de Stomatologie, de Chirurgie Maxillo-Faciale et de Chirurgie Orale / Journal of Stomatology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (RSCMCO / JSOMS) between 2009 and 2019

 

MIF Rank 2019

Category

MIF 2019

MIF 2018

MIF Rank 2018

1

Cell Biology

3.673

3.485

3

2

Green & Sustainable Science & Technology

3.610

2.811

17

3

Cell & Tissue Engineering

3.532

3.575

1

4

Allergy

3.497

3.560

2

5

Nanoscience & Nanotechnology

3.384

2.843

15

6

Materials Science, Biomaterials

3.358

3.176

5

7

Immunology

3.348

3.197

4

8

Onkology

3.297

3.041

7

9

Energy & Fuels

3.294

3.012

9

10

Gastroenterology & Hepatology

3.250

3.033

10

143

Public Administration

1.781

1.864

122

144

Computer Science, Cybernetics

1.768

1.681

143

145

Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Medicine

1.766

1.565

160

146

Pediatrics

1.765

1.689

142

147

Gerontology

1.759

1.713

138

236

Psychology, Psychoanalysis

0.416

0.515

235

Table 6 The Median Impact Factor (MIF) of selected specialty categories (n = 236) for 2019. 2018 MIF numbers differ from the originally reported MIF values because of the addition of the Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry with its JIF (0.731) at a time after the publication of the InCites Journal Citations Reports of 2018. This change not only increased the number of JIF journals from 90 to 91, but also lowered the MIF from the original 1.596 to 1.565, moving dentistry from rank 154 to rank 160.

Example: Authors whose article was published between January and June 2019 will add the JIF of 2017 to their article; authors whose article was published between July and December 2018 will claim the then current JIF of 2018 for themselves (Fig. 1). Yet, in both cases these assignments should only be considered temporary. The correct value is not released before the middle of the following year when the figures for the previous year are published (i.e. in June 2020 the JIF values for 2019; Fig. 1). This results in a delay of 6 to18 months between the publication of the article and the release of the JIF for the publication year in question.

“The performance of a researcher should certainly not be measured by the number of articles, nor by the impact factor of the journal in which [the article] is published.”

Magdalena Skipper, editor-in-chief of the journal Nature [20]

Criticism on the JIF

Criticism of the JIF from the scientific community continued unabated in the year under review. Koelblinger et al. [11] argued that a journal with a large number of citable articles is a strong predictor of relatively stable, i.e. only slightly fluctuating, JIF values over time. Specifically for dental journals, Valderrama et al. [28] found that systematic reviews and a higher annual average of published papers had the potential to increase the JIF, while articles that publish clinical trial results had no effect on a JIF. Not unexpectedly, dental journals with a high JIF therefore tend to publish more systematic reviews (or meta-analyses: quantitative systematic reviews) [27]. Further comments on the JIF can be found in Table 7.

Quote

Source

“It is also to be noted that the journal’s IF does not reflect the quality of the author’s individual work but rather reflects the journal’s overall quality.”

Kaldas et al. (2020) [10]

“The JIF is an unreliable, biased, and inherently flawed method of measuring the quality, accessibility, and value of a research journal.”

Nestor et al. (2020) [18]

“An author should not be enamoured just by the impact factor of a journal because all that glitters is not gold. The JIF does not entirely reflect on the quality of a journal.”

Jawad (2020) [9]

“JIF has many disadvantages and is applied beyond its original intent.”

Mech (2020) [16]

“‘Impactitis‘ is a disease that is probably transmitted through practiced key figure fetishism. Especially in journals with high JIF, peer review has little to do with insight or intellectual depth, but rather with the novelty value for the journal or whether the quantity of experiments is sufficient for the level of the journal.”

Brembs (2019) [4]

Table 7 Critical statements about the JIF

Neumann [19] and Brembs [5] summarize some arguments against the JIF that are worth thinking about:

  1. The majority of articles published in high-impact journals are cited below average; “their high impact factors are rather achieved by a few citation blockbusters” [19].
  2. Many very influential study articles are cited frequently only after the two-year window relevant for the calculation of the JIF.
  3. Publication in a journal with a high JIF does not mean that it has high scientific value. Really new findings are more likely to be published in journals with low JIFs [30].
  4. There is evidence that the method­ological quality of scientific studies does not increase with increasing rank of the journal. Rather, some data indicate that, on average, the highest ranking journals often struggle to surpass the average reliability level set by the other journals [3].

Alternatives to the JIF

Those who believe that the JIF is “without alternative” fail to recognize that many other metrics are available. Forty-five alternatives were recently summarized by Mech et al. [16], including the following:

  • Integrated Impact Indicator (I3) [14, 29]
  • h-index (Hirsch index, Hirsch number) [15, 31];
  • hw-index [2];
  • hg-index [6];
  • g-index [1, 6];
  • e-index [1, 7];
  • m-Quotient [2, 6, 8];
  • L-index [12];
  • A-index [2, 21];
  • AR-index [2, 6, 8];
  • M-index [2].

Mech et al. [16] prefer the I3 index because it does not have most of the disadvantages of JIF.

Conflicts of interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest as defined by the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.

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Jens C. Türp, DDS, Dr med dent Professor

Department of Oral Health & Medicine

University Center for Dental Medicine

Mattenstrasse 40

CH-4058 Basel, Switzerland

jens.tuerp@unibas.ch

(Photo: Basilisk, Basel)


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