The Journal Citation Reports (JCR) for 2009 were published this week. To the constant chagrin of many scientists, these are outdated even as they are made public (for example, the Impact Factors for 2009 were just published in the middle of 2010), and there is an ongoing debate about whether they accurately represent the actual impact of journals. Still, for better or worse, they are the main way in which journal quality is judged. Competition among journals is often fierce, even to the point of skewing their editorial practices in order to improve their impact factors. Nature and Science, the two most influential journals, have a spirited rivalry over top spot, described with humour last year in PHD Comics (part 1 and part 2).So how did journals do in this “World Cup of Impact Factors”? I selected a few journals that I find interesting.

Journal
Impact factor
2009
Impact factor
2008
5-year
impact factor
34.480
31.434
32.906
29.747
28.103
31.052
29.495
22.297
27.62
12.125
12.243
13.933
9.432
9.380
10.312
7.479
6.878
7.279
5.759
5.895
6.429
4.926
4.328
6.271
4.725
4.144
4.111
4.351
4.383
4.064
3.706
4.064
3.451
3.261
3.319
3.428
3.781
4.108
3.042
3.421
3.276
2.574
2.454
2.738
2.384
2.143
2.397
1.695
1.577
1.912
1.694
1.563
2.373

 

Information about all journals can be accessed online on the ISI website, but a subscription is required. Accessing the website through a university IP address will usually do the trick.UPDATE: I would be remiss not to mention Duncan’s “Impact Factor Boxing” article from last year, which was a large influence for this post.

Have I left some interesting journals out of my table? Drop me a line and I will be happy to add any suggestions.