RESEARCH ARTICLE


A More Comprehensive Index in the Evaluation of Scientific Research: The Single Researcher Impact Factor Proposal



Gianluca Castelnuovo*, 1, Daniel Limonta 2, Luis Sarmiento 3, Enrico Molinari 4
1 Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS, Psychology Research Laboratory, Italy Department of Psychology, Catholic University of Milan, Italy
2 National Reference Laboratory for Dengue, PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center for the Study of Dengue and its Vector, PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center for the Study of Viral Diseases, Pedro Kouri Institute of Tropical Medicine, Havana, Cuba
3 Enterovirus Laboratory, PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center for the Study of Viral Diseases, Pedro Kouri Institute of Tropical Medicine, Havana, Cuba
4 Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS, Psychology Research Laboratory, Italy Department of Psychology, Catholic University of Milan, Italy


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© Castelnuovo et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to these authors at the Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS, Psychology Research Laboratory, Italy; Tel-Fax: +39-0323514338; E-mail: gianluca.castelnuovo@auxologico.it


Abstract

Good alternatives to the Impact Factor (IF) algorithm are needed. The Thomson IF represents a limited measure of the importance of an individual article because 80% of a journal's IF is determined by only the 20% of the papers published. In the past few years, several new indexes has been created to provide alternatives to the IF algorithm. These include the removal of self citations from the calculation of the IF using the Adjusted IF, Index Copernicus initiative and other modifications such as the Cited Half-Life IF, Median IF, Disciplinary IF, and Prestige Factor. There is also the Euro-Factor, born in Europe to avoid the strong US centrality, and the English language basis of the Thomson database. One possible strategy to avoid "IF supremacy" is to create a new index, the Single Researcher Impact Factor (SRIF), that would move the evaluation from the power of scientific journals to the quality of single researchers. This measure can take into account the number and quality of the traditional publications and other activities usually associated with being a researcher, such as reviewing manuscripts, writing books, and attending scientific meetings. Also, in funding policy, it might be more useful to consider the merits, contributions, and real impact of all the scientific activities of a single researcher instead of adding only the journals' IF numbers. The major aim of this paper is to propose and describe the SRIF index that could represent a novel option to evaluate scientific research and researchers.

Key Words: Impact Factor, Scientific Journal, Single Researcher, Scientific Evaluation.