Journal impact factor and its importance for AFP

Miake L. Van Driel*, Parker J. Magin, Chris B. Del Mar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In 2008, Australian Family Physician (AFP) was accepted on the list of journals listed in Science Citation Index Expanded and, thus, will generate an impact factor over the next 2 years. Impact factors is important to authors from research and academic backgrounds and will make AFP an increasingly attractive journal in which to publish. 

Aim: To describe the impact factor, its method of calculation, and its flaws. 

Discussion: Impact factor is the number of a journal's cited research papers divided by the total number of citable papers it has published. It is distorted by several different factors: sub-discipline, region, basic versus applied research, and whether the journal editor deliberately tries to strategically increase their impact factor. 

Conclusion: Impact factor is an oversimplified single measure of 'impact', which may underestimate the contribution of the AFP to society. However, no accepted alternative metric currently exists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)770-773
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian Family Physician
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008


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