Increased impact factor for RCPA journal, Pathology
The impact factor is the most widely used tool for measuring the importance or rank of a journal. The higher the impact factor, the more highly ranked the journal. Recently released 2018 reports show that the impact factor for Pathology, the official journal of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) has increased to 3.163. Pathology Editor, Prof Delahunt has thanked the Pathology Editorial Board, reviewers, authors and readers who continue to support the journal and contribute to its international success.
Professor Delahunt said,
“The impact factor is a measure of the average frequency with which articles published in two consecutive years in a journal have been cited in the following year. It is the ratio between citations and recent citable items published, and it is the one tool that can be used to compare journals in a subject category. A high impact factor means that a journal is more highly ranked and therefore deemed to be more important than those with lower ones.
“You cannot predict an impact factor as it is dependent on the quality of articles published within a journal each year. In general, we have seen a dramatic upwards trend of the impact factor for Pathology annually and this is the second consecutive year that the journal has had an impact factor over three, which is quite an achievement for a general pathology journal. This is largely due to the fact that Pathology has a policy to only accept high quality articles. We also have a strong international editorial board which helps us to attract good papers.”
Clarivate Analytics, formerly The Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), is responsible for publishing the Journal Citation Reports which provide quantitative tools for ranking, evaluating, categorising, and comparing journals.
“Opinions vary widely as to what constitutes a good impact factor. However, it seems to be the case that an impact factor of three is the watershed. You will also find that some funding organisations have a requirement that applicants have been published in journals with an impact factor of three. This is certainly something that we have noticed, and we have received a lot more submissions since Pathology hit an impact factor of three for the first time last year.
“Success breeds success and, in general, we are finding that the number of submissions for Pathology is increasing each year. For example, in 2009 we received 264 articles for consideration, and in 2018 this had increased to 419. However, it is also important to note that we receive a wide range of both good and bad articles, and although the submission rate has increased, the rejection rate has also gone up significantly,” said Prof Delahunt.
Pathology is the official journal of the RCPA and is committed to publishing peer-reviewed, original articles related to the science of pathology in its broadest sense, including anatomical pathology, chemical pathology and biochemistry, cytopathology, experimental pathology, forensic pathology and morbid anatomy, genetics, haematology, immunology and immunopathology, microbiology and molecular pathology. The journal has specific instructions and guidelines for submitting articles and acceptance of a contribution is conditional upon the work described being original.
“The impact factor is just one measure of the importance of a journal and unfortunately it can be manipulated. For example, you can cite yourself, but that’s something that we do not encourage. In addition to accepting only high quality articles, what we try to do is to make sure that the articles that are published in Pathology have utility to reporting pathologists, this means that in addition to attracting citations, good articles assist pathologists in their every day practice,” said Prof Delahunt.
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This article appeared in the July 2019 Edition of ePathWay which is an online magazine produced by the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (http://www.rcpa.edu.au/Library/Publications/ePathway).
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