This week PeerJ Computer Science received its first Impact Factor and at 3.09 it places the journal in the top quartile of the Web of Science’s category for Computer Science (Theory & Methods). But given the flaws and misuse of this metric should we, as a publisher and a partner to the computer science community, care?
PeerJ, DORA and IF
The issues around Impact Factor are well documented and, as signatories of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), we firmly believe that use of the Impact Factor to assess an article, let alone an individual or an institution, is erroneous. Research should be assessed on its own merits rather than on the basis of the journal in which the research is published, and the use of journal-based metrics, such as Impact Factor, in funding, appointment, and promotion decisions should cease. This is why we provide article-level metrics (citations, views, downloads and social shares) on every article we publish, emphasise the importance of citation distribution, and recognise the contributions our community makes to every part of the scholarly publishing process. It’s also why we provide a suite of journal-level metrics including Scimago Journal Ranking (PeerJ Computer Science scores at 1.6 – the second highest-ranked open access journal in the “Computer Science – Miscellaneous category”); Source Normalized Impact Factor (PeerJ Computer Science = 2.34) and CiteScore (PeerJ Computer Science = 6.7).
Our focus on individual articles is also why we ask our Academic Editors and reviewers to assess submissions on their scientific soundness. We believe that peer review is not a binary yes/no decision but a process that can improve the way research is communicated – this is one reason why we encourage authors to publish their peer review history and for reviewers to sign their review. We’re proud that this has resulted in the publication of high impact, game-changing research as well as a stream of positive feedback from authors about their peer review experience at PeerJ Computer Science.
With all that said, we know that Impact Factor can still be a significant driver in the decisions that researchers make when considering where to submit their latest work and it would be remiss to completely ignore the Impact Factor and what it means for PeerJ Computer Science – in fact, we’re excited about what the future has in store for the journal.
If there’s one impact we can be relatively certain this announcement will have, it’s an increase in the awareness and visibility of the journal in the community. We’re excited at the potential for more authors to enjoy our rapid publishing platform, rigorous peer review, and affordable open access options.
We will also continue striving to provide better service for the computer science community through the development of programs, tools and services that will enrich scholarly communications and remove friction from the publishing process. To achieve this, we need your help to ensure we develop things that the community needs and wants – as a user-experience driven company, PeerJ knows the best ideas come from our communities and that won’t change. So how can we better serve the field of computer science?
- Have any ideas for how we could improve our submission system or peer review process?
- Think we could make the presentation of the journal and its content a more interactive experience?
- Want to publish a collection with us or work on a call for papers?
- Need a publishing partner for your society?
- Want us to support your conference – virtual or otherwise – with a PeerJ Award?
- Have the next big idea for changing research communication and scholarly publishing?
No matter how big or small the idea, our Communities Team wants to hear from you. You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org – they’re excited to learn how we can better support the computer science community.
We want to thank our Advisory Board, Academic Editors and Reviewers for everything you have done to build the journal, its community and its reputation, and of course, we want to extend our thanks to our amazing authors who have entrusted the journal with the dissemination of their research.