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Re: Brain Research

Although this list is not the appropriate place for an extended discussion
of the merits and cost-effectiveness of the various neurobiology
periodicals, I think it necessary to add a brief explanation and
clarification of some of my earlier postings.

In presenting the impact factors of the various parts of Brain Research, I
omitted one part: Developmental Brain Research, which ranked in 1997 78
out of 150 in the JCR neurosciences group. In calculating impact factors
for this multi-part periodical, the most valid approach would be to
combine the data as shown in JCR for all the parts. I did the arithmetic:
for 1997 the impact factor for the combined sections is 2.46; this would
put the combined periodical--what you get if you pay the $15,203, as 49th
out of the 145 neuroscience titles after the adjustment has been made.

Whether this will be worth it to any particular library, as everyone
agrees, depends on the library. At Princeton, in view of our own subject
specializations and measured use, the relevant selectors consider it
sufficiently cost-effective and important to our collection, and we will
certainly be continuing our subscription.

Whether one considers this as high or low quality depends upon many
factors: there are 48 neurobiology titles, some published by the same
publisher, which have a higher impact factor and many of which are likely
to be judged of greater importance to a particular library. There are 96
in JCR of lower impact factor; in any given library some of these may be
considered important and others not. This library has most but not all of
the ones higher on this list, and some but not most of the lower.

Considering the wide scope of this journal, I should not have summarized
matters by saying merely "too low in quality."

David Goodman 
Biology Librarian, and
Co-Chair, Electronic Journals Task Force
Princeton University Library 
dgoodman@princeton.edu         http://www.princeton.edu/~biolib/
phone: 609-258-3235            fax: 609-258-2627