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.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Australian Family Physician|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2008|