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RE: The Number That's Devouring Science

And a journal that can atttract almost all the best papers in a 
medium-sized field with clear boundaries can get a very high IF-- for 
example "Yeast" and "Diabetes"

As Richard says, there are many factors, and many good ways to do it. I 
look forward to when we can discuss and do research on these topics 
without the overriding need to support our own public positions. Let's get 
the subject of academic publishing back where it belongs.

Dr. David Goodman
Associate Professor
Palmer School of Library and Information Science
Long Island University

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu on behalf of Richard Feinman
Sent: Mon 11/28/2005 6:50 PM
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: Re: The Number That's Devouring Science

We don't necessarily disagree here.  Anachronisms don't necessarily go 
away.  The ETOC's I get are frequently broken down into subcategories (or 
should be) so that whereas authors submit papers to journals, readers 
usually look at only a small per centage of each issue of non-specialized 
journals.  That there is not an immediate good solution does not mean that 
it is not an old-fashioned way of doing things.  I also didn't mean it was 
universal.  There are many publishing modes and there are certainly 
browsable journals and there are journals where one can get a sense of 
many fields even if only a small fraction of the articles are readable. I 
subscribe to Science, Nature and J. Chem Ed. whose hard copies are very 
useful even though I have always had access to the contents through my 
library.  Ironically, Science and Nature seem to have the least 
enlightened view on OA even though they are the least likely to be hurt by 
reduced subscriptions.

The point with respect to IF, is obviously that a journal that publishes 
good papers in a small field will have low IF and journals that cover 
broad field will have IF unfavorably affected by entries in the small 
field which I guess everybody agrees with.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

"Anthony Watkinson" <anthony.watkinson@btopenworld.com>
Sent by: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
11/27/05 04:14 PM
Re: The Number That's Devouring Science

As a publisher I have to disagree with the first statement by Feinman and
I do it on the basis of evidence. Academic authors submit to journals not
databases. Users indeed usually (though not invariably or entirely) tend
to look for authors and subjects. However a surprising number still
receive ETOCs for favoured journals or even scan them physically.

However as a publisher I am in total agreement with the sentiments (such
as I can tell from the snippet) in the CHE article. In the last few years
IF fever has spread dramatically. Journals I work with have become
obsessed with gaining impact factor. Editors are more concerned with this
than producing a high quality publication for their community. It is not
uncommon that these two aims are in conflict - chapter and verse can be
provided. As far as assessment of academics are concerned, in the UK we
have the RAE - the Research Assessment Exercise. I have looked at the
statements of a number of the 60+ panels, who are to conduct the
assessment. and those I have read carefully explain that they will judge
the submission of publications from the departments they are assessing on
their merits and NOT take into account the IF of the journals in which
these publications appear. However heads of departments throughout the
land totally ignore these sort of statements. They tell their departments
that they have to try to publish in Nature etc.

This (thank goodness) is not an area where publishers (OA or not OA) and
librarians need to be divided but what do we do?

Anthony Watkinson