A recent article published April 9, 2013 in Science talks about “interactive peer review” and what different open access journals like Frontiers are doing to make science publishing available to the general audience—that is, the taxpayers. The article explains some of the advantages of open access publishing but derails from good intentions by integrating the low impact factors of several of the open access journals. The authors then go on to mention how significant this metric is by listing some pros and cons to publishing in open access journals.
Like others, I think it’s fair to say that impact factors are NOT and should not be a direct measure of the caliber of a scientist that you are. Yet sadly, this article laces its commentary with the phrase impact factor. As if these two words encompass the entirety of your career/life as a researcher. What if they did away with impact factors? What if it didn’t matter where you published but the quality of the work you published? And don’t tell me there’s a correlation between quality work and impact factor. That’s total bs. Reviewers from Science or Nature are not exclusive to those journals and are reviewers elsewhere. Published “top tier” works are debunked all of the time as well. Yet there’s a distasteful air of prestige when your name precedes the stupid word “Science” on a publication. As much as you’d like to think your work is influential, it’s not if no one cites it.
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