Published on in Vol 25 (2023)

Preprints (earlier versions) of this paper are available at https://preprints.jmir.org/preprint/45322, first published .
The Skewed Impact of Highly Cited Articles on Journal Impact Factor

The Skewed Impact of Highly Cited Articles on Journal Impact Factor

The Skewed Impact of Highly Cited Articles on Journal Impact Factor

Authors of this article:

Kazuki Ide 1 Author Orcid Image

Letter to the Editor

Division of Scientific Information and Public Policy, Center for Infectious Disease Education and Research (CiDER), Osaka University, Osaka, Japan

Corresponding Author:

Kazuki Ide, RPh, MSc, PhD

Division of Scientific Information and Public Policy

Center for Infectious Disease Education and Research (CiDER)

Osaka University

Techno-Alliance Building C 208

2-8 Yamadaoka, Suita

Osaka, 565-0871

Japan

Phone: 81 06 6879 4168

Email: ide-k@cider.osaka-u.ac.jp



I read with interest the paper by Delardas and Giannos [1]. As the authors pointed out, journal impact factor inflation can affect the integrity of researchers as well as publishers. This phenomenon has also been reported as a “blockbuster effect” not only in the 6 high-impact medical journals reported by the authors (Annals of Internal Medicine, The BMJ, Journal of the American Medical Association, The Lancet, Nature Medicine, and The New England Journal of Medicine) but also in infectious disease journals [2]. A similar trend was observed in 200 journals with a high number of COVID-19–related publications in the Web of Science as well [3].

Delardas and Giannos [1] evaluated the impact of COVID-19–related articles on a journal-by-journal basis, but it is unknown whether they found a single article or a small number of articles that had a significant effect on impact factor. It would be helpful for readers if the authors could provide more detailed explanations.

Acknowledgments

This work was conducted as part of the Nippon Foundation–Osaka University Project for Infectious Disease Prevention and was supported by the Inamori Foundation as well as by a Grant-in-Aid for Early-Career Scientists from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (23K12845).

Conflicts of Interest

None declared.

Editorial Notice

The corresponding author of “How COVID-19 Affected the Journal Impact Factor of High Impact Medical Journals: Bibliometric Analysis” did not respond to this letter.

  1. Delardas O, Giannos P. How COVID-19 affected the journal impact factor of high impact medical journals: bibliometric analysis. J Med Internet Res. Dec 21, 2022;24(12):e43089. [FREE Full text] [CrossRef] [Medline]
  2. Maillard A, Delory T. Blockbuster effect of COVID-19 on the impact factor of infectious disease journals. Clin Microbiol Infect. Dec 2022;28(12):1536-1538. [FREE Full text] [CrossRef] [Medline]
  3. Park S, Lim HJ, Park J, Choe YH. Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on biomedical publications and their citation frequency. J Korean Med Sci. Oct 17, 2022;37(40):e296. [FREE Full text] [CrossRef] [Medline]

Edited by T Leung; This is a non–peer-reviewed article. submitted 24.12.22; accepted 01.09.23; published 18.09.23.

Copyright

©Kazuki Ide. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (https://www.jmir.org), 18.09.2023.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on https://www.jmir.org/, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.