- Simple arithmetic versus intuitive understanding: the case of the impact factor
- ISSI Newsletter
- Volume | Issue number
- 7 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
- We discuss the "rate of averages" versus the "average of rates" in the case of the impact factor. Synchronous as well as diachronous journal impact factors are sensitive to adding non-cited articles (to the denominator). This is a consequence of basic properties of elementary arithmetic. Our findings provide a rationale for not taking uncitable publications into account in impact factor calculations, at least if these items are truly uncitable, that is, are never cited.
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