Letters

Quality of impact factors of general medical journals

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7395.931 (Published 26 April 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:931

Quality matters—and the choice of indicator matters too

  1. Miquel Porta ([email protected]), head, Clinical and Molecular Epidemiology of Cancer Unit
  1. Institut Municipal d'Investigació Mèdica, Carrer del Dr Aiguader, 80, E-08003 Barcelona, Spain
  2. Centre for Statistics in Medicine, Institute of Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7LF

    EDITOR—Results of the analysis by Joseph add new data and a remarkable twist to existing knowledge on weaknesses in the accuracy of the data that the Institute for Scientific Information (now part of the Thomson company) uses.1 Although the institute has long struggled to avoid mistakes, the vast amount of data needed to create its products emphasises the importance of more stringent quality checks.2 These controls are impossible to perform by users of the institute's indices and databases, since most users do not have access to the original, raw data—access, for example, to data on which articles were counted to be part of the denominator of the bibliographical “impact factor”.2

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