Modifying the journal impact factor by fractional citation weighting: The audience factor

  • Zitt M
  • Small H
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Abstract

A new approach to the field normalization of the classical journal impact factor is introduced. This approach, called the audience factor, takes into consideration the citing propensity of journals for a given cited journal, specifically, the mean number of references of each citing journal, and fractionally weights the citations from those citing journals. Hence, the audience factor is a variant of a fractional citation-counting scheme, but computed on the citing journal rather than the citing article or disciplinary level, and, in contrast to other cited-side normalization strategies, is focused on the behavior of the citing entities. A comparison with standard journal impact factors from Thomson Reuters shows a more diverse representation of fields within various quintiles of impact, significant movement in rankings for a number of individual journals, but nevertheless a high overall correlation with standard impact factors.

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