Letter to the Editor
I read with interest the paper by Delardas and Giannos . 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 [ ]. A similar trend was observed in 200 journals with a high number of COVID-19–related publications in the Web of Science as well [ ].
Delardas and Giannos  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.
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
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.
- Delardas O, Giannos P. How COVID-19 affected the journal impact factor of high impact medical journals: bibliometric analysis. J Med Internet Res 2022 Dec 21;24(12):e43089 [https://www.jmir.org/2022/12/e43089/] [CrossRef] [Medline]
- Maillard A, Delory T. Blockbuster effect of COVID-19 on the impact factor of infectious disease journals. Clin Microbiol Infect 2022 Dec;28(12):1536-1538 [https://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/35998808] [CrossRef] [Medline]
- Park S, Lim HJ, Park J, Choe YH. Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on biomedical publications and their citation frequency. J Korean Med Sci 2022 Oct 17;37(40):e296 [https://jkms.org/DOIx.php?id=10.3346/jkms.2022.37.e296] [CrossRef] [Medline]
Edited by T Leung; This is a non–peer-reviewed article. submitted 24.12.22; accepted 01.09.23; published 18.09.23Copyright
©Kazuki Ide. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (https://www.jmir.org), 18.09.2023.
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