September 2014
Volume 55, Issue 9
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Editorial  |   September 2014
The Impact of IOVS
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science September 2014, Vol.55, 6015. doi:10.1167/iovs.14-15572
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      David C. Beebe; The Impact of IOVS. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(9):6015. doi: 10.1167/iovs.14-15572.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Most scientists are aware of the “Impact Factor (IF)” calculated by ISI and distributed by Thomson Reuters. We at IOVS were pleased to see our IF increase to 3.661 in 2013, up 6% from 2012. However, as I have pointed out before, the IF is not an especially accurate assessment of impact for a journal like IOVS, because the papers submitted to IOVS cover a wide range of topics and represent diverse communities of scientists. This means that the impact of papers in IOVS is “diluted” by representing the 13 ARVO sections and the three ARVO cross-sectional groups. Another way of assessing the impact of the journal is to evaluate the quality of the journals that refer to articles in IOVS. This method yields the “Eigenfactor Score.” 
To better understand the meaning of the Eigenfactor Score, I've provided a quote from Wikipedia 1 : “Journals are rated according to the number of incoming citations, with citations from highly ranked journals weighted to make a larger contribution to the Eigenfactor than those from poorly ranked journals. As a measure of importance, the Eigenfactor score scales with the total impact of a journal. All else equal, journals generating higher impact to the field have larger Eigenfactor scores” (emphasis added). We are especially pleased that the Eigenfactor rank for IOVS is number 1 among the 58 ophthalmology journals, a ranking that has been maintained for more than 5 years. Between 2011 and 2012, the Eigenfactor Score of IOVS increased by 11%. By this definition, IOVS consistently has the highest impact of any journal in the area of ophthalmology. 
Not only are articles in IOVS cited in higher-ranked journals, but IOVS is also the most cited of the 58 journals in the ophthalmology field. Between 2012 2 and 2013, 3 the number of citations to articles published in IOVS increased by 7%, from a remarkable 40,182 to 43,062. Part of the explanation for the high rate of citations is that IOVS publishes more articles than any other journal in the ophthalmology group. In 2012, IOVS accounted for 16% of all articles published in ophthalmology, while representing fewer than 2% of all ophthalmology journals. This trend is continuing. For the first half of 2014, submissions to IOVS grew at a projected rate of 12%, compared with the total for 2013, suggesting that the vision research community highly values having their work published in the journal. 
In contrast to the growing submission rate, the rate of acceptance has fallen from approximately 50% to close to 40% over the past 2 years. This reflects the careful work of the associate editors, editorial board members, and the many colleagues who review the articles submitted to IOVS. In general, higher standards yield higher-quality articles. As another measure of quality and importance, the cited half-life of articles published in IOVS has increased to 7.4 years, indicating that articles published in IOVS are cited for many years after publication, a measure of their continuing importance in eye and vision research. 
References
Eigenfactor Wikipedia. Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eigenfactor. Accessed August 28, 2014.
2013 Journal Citation Reports. New York, NY: Thomson Reuters; 2013.
2014 Journal Citation Reports. New York, NY: Thomson Reuters; 2014.
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