Unscientific practice flourishes in science

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7137.1036 (Published 04 April 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1036

Impact factors of journals should not be used in research assessment

  1. Richard Smith, Editor
  1. BMJ

    Education and debate p 1079

    All around the world the scientific performance of individuals and research groups is being assessed using the impact factors of the journals in which they publish.1 Unfortunately the indisputable evidence that this method is scientifically meaningless is being ignored. Those who assess the performance of researchers seem to be bewitched by the spurious precision of a number that is available to several decimal places.

    Most researchers accept that research funds should be concentrated on those who perform well. Performance …

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