Editorials

Here you can find editorial abstracts and links to free download.

If you are interested in the Bibliometric performance of Acta Physiologica, you can read this short editorial from July 2014 (pdf).

 

Editorial May Issue 2017, 220, 7-8

Announcing the $100 000 (one hundred thousand US Dollars) Acta Physiologica Award

Dear authors, reviewers, readers and friends of Acta Physiologica. It is with pleasure that the Scandinavian Physiological Society announces a $100 000 (one hundred thousand US Dollars) award for the best article published in Acta Physiologica during the last two years.

 

  1. B. Persson

Institut fuer Vegetative Physiologie, Charité Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

E-mail: pontus.persson@charite.de

LINKS:
HTML:  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12880/full

PDF: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12880/pdf

 

 

Editorial May Issue 2017, 220, 3-6

Tools in science

When talking to non-scientists, it is rather amusing how much the Victorian view of a scientist still lingers. Many people, still view us [scientists] as crazy people working in basements (alright, that might contain some truth), who solve unholy puzzles using tools like beakers with colourful liquids and fuming test tubes. Sometimes, we burst out into euphoric cries of EUREKA when some incomprehensible problem is solved just prior to a minor explosion that causes our hair to stand-up in disarray.

  1. Zakrisson and C. Kronfoth

ZAGENO GmbH,

Berlin, Germany

E-mail: anna@zageno.com

LINKS:
HTML:  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12878/full

PDF: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12878/pdf

 

 

April Issue 2017, 219, 700-701

Writing brilliant manuscripts

A scientist passed away. Spirits let him choose between heaven and hell. As researchers leave nothing to chance, both locations were inspected. While descending into the blistering depths, rows of chained scientists appeared. All were lashed at by thorny whips while they wrote.

‘Gracious’ the scientist exclaimed, ‘Now, for heaven. Immediately’.

  1. B. Persson

Institut fuer Vegetative Physiologie, Charité Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

E-mail: pontus.persson@charite.de

LINKS:
HTML:  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12842/full

PDF: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12842/epdf

 

December Issue 2016, 218, 227

Acta Physiologica’s appearance and gestalt 2017

My tailor suggests I should dress for the body I have, not for the body I want. Conversely, Acta Physiologica’s lean and muscular build calls for streamlining her appearance.

Pontus B. Persson

Institute of Vegetative Physiology, Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

pontus.persson@charite.de

LINKS:

HTML: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12814/full

PDF: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12814/pdf

 

November Issue 2016, 218, 152

Did you know how much noradrenaline a sympathetic varicosity contains?

Did you know how much noradrenaline a sympathetic varicosity contains? The famous group surrounding Hökfelt did, and published it 50 years ago in Acta Physiologica Scandinavica, as our journal was named back then.

Pontus B. Persson

Institut fuer Vegetative Physiologie, Charité Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

E-mail: pontus.persson@charite.de

LINKS:

HTML: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12696/full

PDF: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12696/pdf

 

October Issue 2016, 218, 67

Did you know? The Ussing chamber origin

Searches show that publications including the term ‘Ussing chamber’ peaked over the last 5 years. Not so remarkable, were it not for the time when the Danish zoologist Hans Henriksen Ussing (1911–2000) came up with this set-up shortly after World War II.

Pontus B. Persson

Institute of Vegetative Physiology, Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

LINKS:

HTML: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12689/full

PDF: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12689/pdf

 

 

September Issue 2016, 218, 5-6

Did you know? Neocytolysis, how to halt EPO?

Upon demand, erythropoietin (EPO) is rapidly synthesized and released (Gunga et al. 1996, Wenger & Kurtz 2011). After all, there is little time to lose when reaching high altitude. Although erythropoiesis must come about promptly (Lu et al. 2015), you may assume that the newly formed red blood cells will circulate for the next 4 months, and it is generally accepted that erythrocyte lifespan cannot be reduced. For long-term mountain dwellers, there may be few disadvantages with long-standing increases in haematocrit. But what would happen with those who descend?

  1. B. Persson1, R. H. Wenger2, C. Lundby2 and H.-C. Gunga3

1Institut fuer Vegetative Physiologie, Charité Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

2Institute of Physiology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

3Institut fuer Physiologie, Charité Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

LINKS:

HTML: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12682/full

PDF: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12682/pdf

 

August Issue 2016, 217, 272-273

Did you know? Visual adaption causing illusion

Dynamic range, that is the ratio of the largest to smallest values of a quantity, is a crucial characteristic of a sensory system. Our eyes outperform all known biological and technical sensors by orders of magnitude! The dark-adapted eye is capable of detecting few single photons (Barlow 1956), whereas vision is also possible in bright sunlight at the beach or when looking at sun-illuminated clouds where we find more than 1012 higher light intensities (luminosity). In analogy, imagine a handy ruler of measuring in the millimeter range as well as lengths in the order of the earth moon distance.

R. Mrowka

Experimentelle Nephrologie, Universitaetsklinikum Jena, KIM III, Jena, Germany

Html: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12722/full

PDF: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12722/pdf

August Issue 2016, 217, 269

15.5 days to decision on your manuscript!

 

Who has not experienced the emptiness while waiting for a top-class Journal to finally recognize the merits of your manuscript? Often, the frustrating amount of time lost for decision-making leads authors to submit their work to lesser journals, simply to meet deadlines. Submit your manuscript Acta Physiologica and, on average, you will have a decision within 15.5 days.

P. B. Persson

Institute of Vegetative Physiology, Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

HTML: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12720/full

PDF: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12720/full

July Issue 2016, 217, 177

Sex sells,. . …

. . .. Or why did you just double-click this editorial although there was no abstract to see what it is about?

So I caught you in the act. Perhaps you dared only open this article after a reassuring glance over your shoulder to make sure that no one is watching?

P. B. Persson

Institute of Vegetative Physiology, Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

HTML: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12678/full

PDF: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12678/pdf

June Issue 2016, 217, 99-100

Who can be more ignorant than an editor?

A common answer may be: referees.

Is this true? As an editor, you actually have a chance to get to the bottom of this question by taking a measure for quality (downloads or citations) and correlating that with the referees’ scoring. The results are indeed surprising, as demonstrated by our five most cited original articles in 2014 (Boushel et al. 2014, Dirks et al. 2014, Pruis et al. 2014, Wall et al. 2014, Yu et al. 2014) and 2015 (Chen et al. 2015, Dahl et al. 2015, Heimlich et al. 2015, Tam et al. 2015, Uchida et al. 2015).

P. B. Persson

Institute of Vegetative Physiology, Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Html: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/apha.12676/

PDF: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1111/apha.12676/asset/apha12676.pdf?v=1&t=inllvywb&s=92448cc98251ce7793d5c98a11a04da18233ef57

March Issue 2016, 216, 257

Soon more journals than authors?

Open your mailbox and perhaps you will find something like this:

Dear Dr. Pontus B Persson,

Greetings!!!

 

We have gone through your previous article entitled “. . ..” and it is our immense pleasure to invite you as a potential author to contribute a manuscript (research or review article) for consideration and publication in forthcoming issue of Journal of . . … You may also write a Short communication based on your previous article or an Editorial or an opinion article or commentary or case report or conference proceedings as per your expertise. . ..

P. B. Persson

Institute of Vegetative Physiology, Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Html: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/apha.12638/

PDF: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12638/epdf

December Issue 2015, 215, 165-166

Did you know that your cravings might be microbes controlling your mind?

Perched on a high stool in my kitchen, I found myself pondering my current, somewhat peculiar activity: I was drinking olive brine out of the jar. While never in my life having craved a bar of chocolate, the craving for green olive brine is reoccurring. Is this craving rather bodily greed than need? What are cravings and are they bad?

A. Zakrisson

Institute of Vegetative Physiology, Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

HTML: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/apha.12593

PDF: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12593/epdf

December Issue 2015, 215, 161-162

Acta Physiologica in 2015

For Acta Physiologica, the last issue of the year has traditionally become a place to thank our readers, contributors, reviewers, editors, publishers and the Scandinavian Physiological Society for the outstanding efforts which have made our journal what it is – a source of knowledge, a place for scientific discourse, and a medium which, in spite of the high degree of individual differentiation, unites all those interested in Physiology around the globe. Moreover, this editorial will highlight novel developments in biomedical publishing important to authors, reviewers and editors alike.

P. B. Persson

Institute of Vegetative Physiology, Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

HTML: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/apha.12605

PDF: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12605/epdf

November Issue 2015, 215, 125-126

Did you know?

Evolution and physical laws

The recent discovery that pyrimidines, the fundamental building blocks of all living material, can be created in the laboratory under cosmic conditions (Marlaire 2015) made the headlines recently. Also, the sophisticated observation technologies used by the NASAs Keppler mission (Batalha 2014) have made it possible to discover planets that share similar properties with Earth such as being located in a habitable zone of a solar system. These findings bring up questions such as ‘Are we alone out there?’ and ‘How did life begin?’

R. Mrowka

Experimentelle Nephrologie, Universitaetsklinikum Jena, KIM III, Jena, Germany

HTML: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/apha.12598/

PDF: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/apha.12598/

September Issue 2015, 215, 1

Impact factors 2014

Ten thousand articles were published last year in the 83 journals of physiology featured by the ISI Web of Knowledge (JCR Citation Reports). More than 88% of all citations to physiology journals refer to articles that are outside the time frame for computing the 2014 Impact Factor. Neglecting almost nine of ten citations casts doubts onto the validity of the Impact Factor. Indeed, the Impact Factor was never intended to be a measure of scientific quality. Eugene Garfield, the creator of the Impact Factor, keeps arguing – in vain – against the abuse of this index by scientists and institutions.

P. B. Persson

Institute of Vegetative Physiology, Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Html: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/apha.12545/

PDF: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12545/epdf

July Issue 2015, 214, 295

Did you know?

Acta Physiologica has, for decades, established itself as a pillar of science communication. Our loyal readers are an impressively interdisciplinary, diverse crowd (Persson 2013), however, united by one passion: a shared love for the art of physiological research.

P. B. Persson Institute of Vegetative Physiology, Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Html: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/apha.12517/

PDF: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12517/epdf

May Issue 2015, 214, 1-2

Acta Physiologica strives to make the research world a bit fairer

When looking at the average citations of our manuscripts, Acta Physiologica’s outperforming nations of 2014 are Hungry, Switzerland, England, China and Finland. To many, this may surprise, however, it reflects the globalization of science, which is gradually taking place. The largest proportion of our submissions originates from the United States. The amount of citations going to these manuscripts from the United States is only slightly above our impact factor. Are other countries taking over in science? This would be a far-fetched assumption. The financial resources invested in science are only one aspect of research globalization. There are many others to be considered, such as publishing expenses. Most journals have high entry thresholds for less privileged countries, as substantial costs must be covered by the submitting authors. This does not only hold true for open access journals (where reading is at no expense, in contrast to publishing), but also for several of the journals that are not open access. Often, thousands of dollars must be paid before one’s research finally goes to press. Just having your manuscripts reviewed may often inflict costs of around $100, irrespective of your manuscript finally being accepted or not.appened if the impact factor had influenced science already at the time when I was born.

P. B. Persson Institute of Vegetative Physiology, Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Html: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/apha.12454/

Pdf: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12454/epdf

April Issue 2015, 214, 750-751

Acta Physiologica’s outstanding performance compared to Nature, New England Journal of Medicine and Science

Imagine the following press release: The Acta Physiologica Publishing Group launches the following journals in response to the recent increase in submissions:

Acta Physiologica Biotechnology

Acta Physiologica Cell Biology

Acta Physiologica Communications

Acta Physiologica Genetics

Acta Physiologica Immunology

Acta Physiologica Materials

Acta Physiologica Medicine

Acta Physiologica Neuroscience

Acta Physiologica is the leading life science journal with a 2013 Impact Factor of 42.

Yes, this is the April issue and no, there is no mixup with the Nature Publishing Group. I was simply letting my thoughts wander to what would have happened if the impact factor had influenced science already at the time when I was born.

P. B. Persson Institute of Vegetative Physiology, Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Html: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/apha.12472/

PDF: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12472/epdf

February Issue 2015, 213, 295

Acta Physiologica introduces a 48-h policy for a first editorial decision upon your submissions

Dear Readers of Acta Physiologica,

As the Chief Editor of Acta Physiologica, may I thank you for making the year 2014 what it has become. Looking back at the past 12 months is very rewarding. Once again, submissions have risen. The numbers of submitted manuscripts have actually skyrocketed, doubling within 24 months. There is a large regional heterogeneity regarding the increase in submissions. The greatest growth is found for the manuscripts coming from Scandinavia. Here, we see a several-fold increase in submissions. For some Scandinavian countries, the manuscript entries were up by a factor of 10. It must be mentioned, however, that there is no region worldwide whose submissions to us did not increase. Impressive numbers were also found for the Far East, United States and Central Europe.

P. B. Persson Institute of Vegetative Physiology, Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

HTML: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/apha.12429/

PDF: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/apha.12429/

October Issue 2014, 212, 119

Bibliometric performance of Acta Physiologica

One step up in the ranking of Acta Physiologica, that is the result of the 2013 impact factor. We now rank ninth of 81 journals the field of physiology. If only those publication organs are considered that are not completely focused on reviews or on specialized fields, Acta Physiologica ranks number four. Physiology, The Journal of General Physiology and the Journal of Physiology (London) are the leading three.

P. B. Persson Institute of Vegetative Physiology, Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Html: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/apha.12363/

PDF: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12363/pdf

July Issue 2014, 211, 467

Regions-of-interest: where our readers and authors are from?

More and more libraries provide access to Acta Physiologica. After several years of increasing library access, there are far more than 3000 libraries worldwide that will allow you to check our contents on a regular basis. More than half of these libraries are situated within the United States. Reader numbers peak in March and October, during which we welcome more than 30 000 unique visitors to our journal pages. These numbers vary little over the year, except for an expected dip during the Northern Hemisphere’s holiday season of July and August.

P. B. Persson Institute of Vegetative Physiology, Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Html: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/apha.12294/

Pdf: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12294/pdf

June Issue 2014, 211, 249-250

Downloading-Reading-Citing? Some thoughts on our bibliometrics

Rapid developments are taking place. We remain a free-to-publish journal; however, much else has changed (Persson 2013b, 2014). As highlighted before, the impact factor development is more than encouraging (Persson 2012b, 2013a). But then again, don’t we frown at the misuse of the impact factor as a proxy for scientific quality (Anon 2014)? Even after only a short reflection, major flaws of the impact factor become apparent:

P. B. Persson Institute of Vegetative Physiology, Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

HTML: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/apha.12292

PDF: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12292/pdf

April Issue 2014, 210, 701

Welcome home Scandinavia!

Breathtaking best describes Acta Physiologica’s most recent developments.

Only a few weeks ago, we have become an online-only journal, thus sparing natural resources and leaving a greener footprint. What is more, we remain a free-to-publish-in journal, which is more than a small contribution to our fellow scientists from economically less favored regions.

P. B. Persson Institute of Vegetative Physiology, Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

View as PDF http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12261/pdf

View in html: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/apha.12261/

January Issue 2014, 210, 1

Submissions bode well for 2014

The editorial team wishes you, all the readers and authors of Acta Physiologica, a wonderful year 2014. We hope that this year will be as successful for Acta Physiologica as the past 3 years have been.

P. B. Persson Institute of Vegetative Physiology, Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Full article (HTML): http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12198/full

Full Article (PDF): http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12198/pdf

December Issue 2013, 209, 245

The times they are a-changin’

Next month, it will be 50 years since Bob Dylan released this song. Conspiracy theories have it that he died only three years later in a motorcycle accident. The times they are a-changin’ for Acta Physiologica as well. Far from dying, Acta Physiologica enhanced all its performance parameters this year, as for the previous years before (Persson 2012a,b). Submissions surge in parallel to the impact factor. Having an impact factor of 4.4 places Acta ahead of most topnotch journals in the field. Of course, this development only mirrors your publications in Acta. Thank you and congratulations!

P. B. Persson Institute of Vegetative Physiology, Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Full article (HTML): http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12169/full

Full Article (PDF): http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12169/pdf

June Issue 2013, 208, 137

Who are our readers?

Times are changing. One-third of our downloads come from readers in the United States: North America accounts for roughly 40% of all downloads. This is remarkable, because Acta Physiologica is still widely recognized as a journal with Scandinavian roots. However, interesting trends are taking place: The United States is the largest contributor of manuscripts. What is more, Acta Physiologica is now available in 5116 institutions in the developing world through philanthropic initiatives. This has had an enormous effect on our readership; readers from developing and emerging economies are increasingly downloading our articles. In China, the increase within 1 year has been 22%.

Pontus B. Persson

Full article (HTML): http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12102/full

Full Article (PDF): http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12102/pdf

April Issue 2013, 207, 583

Acta Physiologica enhances performance in 2012

The year 2012 was good for Acta Physiologica. It is a pleasure to announce that the performance parameters of Acta Physiologica have all increased.

The total number of submissions has risen slightly by 5% to 354, while the countries that submit most manuscripts have changed dramatically over the last decade. As can be seen in Figure 1, the Scandinavian nations are no longer the major contributors to the Journal. Less than 20% of submissions are accounted for by the Scandinavian countries. This is due to a surge of manuscripts from other regions. The largest contributor of manuscripts is the rest of Europe (without the Scandinavian countries). Together with the Scandinavian countries, Europe contributes more than half of all manuscripts. Asia has become another major contributor to the Journal. In particular, Japan has submitted very many manuscripts and also China is increasing. The third greatest contributing regions are the Americas.

Author: Prof. Dr. Pontus B. Persson, Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Institute of Vegetative Physiology, Berlin, Germany

Full article (HTML): http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12072/full

Full Article (PDF): http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apha.12072/pdf

October Issue 2012, 206, 89

Two steps up, the development of Acta Physiologica

Heritage can be a burden. Physiology has strong roots throughout Scandinavia (Burnstock et al. 2010, Gjedde 2010, Hansen & Vanhoutte 2011, Hoffmann & Pedersen 2011, Larsen 2011, Seidler 2011, Wang 2011), the origin of our journal, not to mention the great nations throughout Europe whose fellow physiologists helped form our discipline to what it is today (Westerhof 2011). Looking back can therefore add pressure to the active young physiologists who submit their best work to us.

Author: Prof. Dr. Pontus B. Persson, Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Institute of Vegetative Physiology, Berlin, Germany

Full article (HTML) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1748-1716.2012.02476.x/full

Full article (PDF) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1748-1716.2012.02476.x/pdf

June Issue 2012, 205, 189-190

A tripling of readers: Acta Physiologica takes off

What can be the best surrogate endpoint for the quality of a Journal? Markers for the quality and prestige of a Journal are widely debated (Andersen et al., 2006; Walker et al. 2010), and new measuring methods appear regularly (Falagas et al. 2008; Ketcham 2008). To many of our readers, it is probably the amount of articles that are read by our peers, which indicates the quality of our Journal, and studies support that this is indeed a valid marker for Journal performance (Coats, 2005; Ozonoff & Grandjean 2010). Over the last 10 years, the download of articles from Acta Physiologica has more than tripled (Fig. 1). There have been two episodes showing a strong increase in downloading numbers. The first increase took place between 2002 and 2005, which may in part be owing to the advances in technology, and the transition from reading printed material to downloading articles online. It is a particular pleasure to point out the second time interval, in which downloads have increased rapidly: from 2009 till today. Obviously, we are reaching more and more readers worldwide. Since the downloaded material is an early marker for the performance of our Journal, this trend bodes well for the future of our Impact Factor. The Impact Factor can be expected to lag 2–3 years behind download trends.

Author: Prof. Dr. Pontus B. Persson, Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Institute of Vegetative Physiology, Berlin, Germany

Full article (HTML) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1748-1716.2012.02440.x/full

Full article (PDF) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1748-1716.2012.02440.x/pdf

April Issue 2012, 204, 461-463

How is Acta Physiologica (Oxford) performing?

The Impact Factor, again?

Whenever we read on bibliometrics, the Impact Factor immediately pops up first. It is taken to indicate how often a journal is cited (Triaridis & Kyrgidis 2010), but it is widely recognized that this is only a very crude estimate (Garfield 1999, Elsaie & Kammer 2009, Grzybowski 2009). In fact, the inventor himself did not wish to use the Impact Factor as we regularly do today. Garfield first thought of using an Impact Factor in Science in 1955 (Garfield 2006). The purpose of this new index was to identify important sources to be included in journal databases. Until the 1960s, only larger journals publishing many articles were considered. The idea had been that even small journals can have a significant importance which may be indicated by the Impact Factor, that is, by the amount of citations a typical article in that journal receives (Garfield 2006). Today, the Impact Factor is being used for such differing causes, as seeing how the importance of a publication seems to be linked to the geographical distance between the first author and the last author (Van 2010) or to assess the influence of open access policy (Davis 2010). So what is wrong with the Impact Factor being used as a measure for the quality of a journal? First of all, it only focuses on the very narrow citation window of 2 years. This does not mean that the Impact Factor collects data from the previous 24 months; instead, it focuses on calendar years. For example, let us take the Impact Factor for 2011. It is calculated by adding all citations to every article in Acta Physiologica (Oxford) from 2009 and 2010 that were made in the year 2011. Then, we divide this sum by the amount of articles published in Acta Physiologica (Oxford) in 2009 and 2010. This is the Impact Factor for 2011. Obviously, articles that appeared in December issues collect less citations than articles appearing in the next month, simply because the observation window closes after the calendar year. Moreover, short-lived articles that collect citations for only a very short period of time benefit from this way of calculating the Impact Factor. Journals that typically publish articles that are cited over very many years are at disadvantage. These articles may very well collect as many or even more citations than short-lived articles; however, most citations will not be considered for the Impact Factor.

Author: Prof. Dr. Pontus B. Persson, Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Institute of Vegetative Physiology, Berlin, Germany

Full article (HTML) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1748-1716.2012.02421.x/full

Full article (PDF) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1748-1716.2012.02421.x/pdf