(8 December 2016) Elsevier’s CiteScore uses a larger database — and provides different results for the quality of journals.
Richard Van Noorden writes in Nature that one of science’s most contentious metrics has a flashy new rival. On 8 December, publishing giant Elsevier launched the CiteScore index to assess the quality of academic journals.
Although the index ranks journals with a formula that largely mimics the influential Journal Impact Factor (JIF), it covers twice as many journals — 22,000 to the JIF’s 11,000 — and its formula includes tweaks that produce some notably different results, including lower scores for some high-JIF journals.
If CiteScore becomes popular, these quirks could change the behaviour of journals hoping to maximize their score, say analysts. But CiteScore comes at a challenging time for such metrics. It’s not obvious that there is an appetite for a similar competitor to the JIF, and scientists note that no matter what differences CiteScore provides, it will have to survive the same criticisms that are lobbed at its rival — most notably that the JIF is so commonly promoted by publishers as a yardstick for ‘quality’ that researchers are judged by the impact factor of the journal in which their work appears, rather than by what they actually write.
Read the article in full here.