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Archived Comments for: Reliability of journal impact factor rankings

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  1. ISI Subject Category may be misleading

    Jan Schoones, Walaeus Library

    28 December 2007

    Dear Darren,

    For your article you have analysed data in the set of journals ISI has named MEDICINE, RESEARCH & EXPERIMENTAL. This is a rather odd set of journals. On the one hand, there are 50 journals which have a general scope (e.g. Nat Med, Clin Invest Med). These journals fit well into this category.

    On the other hand, there are 26 journals with a very specific scope (e.g. Laryngoscope and Genet Counsel). These journals do not fit well into this category - they are mis-categorized. The journal Laryngoscope is also put in the ISI-subject category OTORHINOLARYNGOLOGY, where it fits well. Genet Counsel is also put in three other categories, including GENETICS & HEREDITY. This journal also fits these other categories better.

    My suggestion would be to either test your hypothesis on a more fitting set of journals (with a more specific scope) or on the abridged set of 50 journals in the category MEDICINE, RESEARCH & EXPERIMENTAL which have a general scope.



    J.W. Schoones, MA

    Walaeus Library

    Collection Development Coordinator / Information specialist

    Leiden University Medical Center


    PO Box 9600

    2300 RC Leiden

    The Netherlands


    Competing interests

    No competing interests.