Some musings on the JCR

Last year some of our researchers asked me what had happened to the Impact Factor of the journal Water Science and Technology. In the 2005 edition it was still included in the JCR and showed an showed an increasing trend in Impact Factor. Not the top of all journals, but a good player. After correspondence with ISI (Thomson Reuters Scientific) we found out that it was indeed excluded from the JCR because it lacked the desired quality. Later I understood from one of the editors that perhaps too many conference papers caused this problem. The editors changed the editorial policies and complied with ISI to upgrade the standards. After these improvements the journal was set for inclusion in 2007 again.

Indeed the journal has appeared again in the latest edition of the JCR. A shinning IF of 1.240 which is higher than ever. For 2006 the IF has been calculated and presented in the 2007 edition as well. A wee bit low, but it is important that there is a continous set of data. But what really amazes me is the fact that when you search in de 2006 edition of the JCR you still don’t find this journal. In the 2005 edition it is there again. It strikes me as odd. Still hanging on the old idea of a paper edition.

Another pain point of me with the JCR is the strange division between the Science edition and the Social Science edition of the JCR.Today I had to check for a set of journals their impact factors. Each time you have to guess wether the journal would be included in the Science edition or the Social Science edition.

I can imagine there is a sales argument to sell either smaller set to smaller institutions. But when you subscribe to the complete set, I can’t see any reason whatsoever why we have to live with this barrier in the database. It seems a relic from times long time gone.

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