Short workshop

Putting the impact factor in its place with a new approach to bibliometry

METM 06, Barcelona
27-28 October 2006

Workshop leaders: Michael Taylor, Pandelis Perakakis, Varvara Trachana
Friday 27, 10:10-11:20, 2006: Room 1

Academic journal publishing now follows the classic 80%-20% power law distribution in most respects meaning that, for example, a minority of journals, institutes and authors dominate the scene. We explain how this situation arose and how it is both reflected and accentuated by the Impact Factor. We will describe the giant inequality now present in journals in terms of publishing languages and norms, financial and online accessibility as well as poor or even corrupt quality control during the peer review process that is creating under-representation, hampering collaboration and innovation and reducing the spectrum of published ideas. We have identified and quantified a list of criteria that measure these effects and we have developed a technique using neural networks that can be used to construct (or improve) the standard bibliometric indices. In this mini-workshop we will report our findings and invite you to participate in helping develop a new bibliometric measure that reflects quality, global accessibility and fair practice.

The workshop is open to all. Since the topic is the current journal monopoly and bibliometric indices, it is hoped that not only editors and users using and engaging journals will attend, but also interested individual authors, librarians and individuals who also face difficulties resulting from the impact factor and lack of access.

Participants will learn how quantitative criteria (other than citation indices) can used to measure journal and publication quality and accessibility. They will be presented with the current state of affairs as well as the global opinion concerning journal quality and access and will acquire the skills needed to construct or understand bibliometric indices. It is hoped that the workshop will provide a valuable critique of the journal monopoly and the impact factor as well as the need for alternative measures.

Michael Taylor, PhD, is a theoretical physicist at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid. His research involves the use of artificial intelligence for data analysis and the modeling of complex systems. He was commissioning editor for popular science books and graduate textbooks at the Institute of Physics and is developing new mathematical techniques for the social sciences.

Pandelis Perakakis, is a psychologist at the University of Granada and co-author of a recent article in scientometrics on internationality. His PhD research involves the study of chaos in heart ECG and brain EEG signals. He is a practitioner of the Buteyko Method for aiding patients suffering from Asthma.

Varvara Trachana, PhD, is a biologist working in the Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (UAM). She is currently researching the human cell cycle and has a wealth of experience submitting work to highly competitive biology and clinical medicine journals as well as witnessing first hand the impact of large pharmaceutical corporations on pure science research.