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Impact factor : un indice de qualité discutable - [OpiMed]
Publication

Impact factor : un indice de qualitĂ© discutable

jeudi 22 mai 2003

Des mêmes auteurs

 
Une recherche influente est largement citĂ©e par d’autres scientifiques et cliniciens. Ce postulat fonde la pertinence de l’analyse de citation.

En 1955, Eugene Garfield a proposĂ©, pour la premiĂšre fois, une analyse des caractĂ©ristiques des citations de diffĂ©rents articles et journaux scientifiques utilisĂ©e comme un outil de mesure. En 1963, le premier Science Citation Index a Ă©tĂ© Ă©ditĂ© par l’Institute for Scientific Information (ISI [1]), fournissant l’analyse de citation de la plupart des principaux journaux scientifiques. Le Journal Impact Factor (JIF) a ainsi Ă©tĂ© dĂ©veloppĂ©. Depuis 1975, l’ISI publie annuellement les Journal Citation Reports (JCR). Cinq mille journaux, environ, sont Ă©valuĂ©s tous les ans.
L’analyse de citation est devenue un paramĂštre attestant la qualitĂ© de la recherche publiĂ©e dans les revues scientifiques, de technologie et de sciences sociales. Avec la place croissante du rĂ©seau Internet, les bibliographies issues de revues et de publications rĂ©fĂ©rencĂ©es par les JCR ou par l’une des bases de donnĂ©es diffusĂ©es par l’ISI, sont devenues largement disponibles aux individus comme aux Ă©tablissements. Dans un environnement de recherche de plus en plus concurrentiel, l’analyse de citation a Ă©tĂ© Ă©voquĂ©e comme un moyen simple, fournissant des mesures objectives, permettant d’Ă©valuer la qualitĂ© de recherche d’un journal, des articles Ă©ditĂ©s, des Ă©tablissements de recherche et mĂȘme des diffĂ©rents chercheurs. Le JIF est devenu l’indicateur le plus gĂ©nĂ©ralement utilisĂ©. Il indique la frĂ©quence avec laquelle l’article moyen publiĂ© dans un journal est citĂ© au cours d’une pĂ©riode dĂ©terminĂ©e et permet des comparaisons approximatives des journaux.
Ce travail offre une vue d’ensemble de l’analyse de citation, y compris les controverses relatives, les biais et les abus potentiels. L’accent a Ă©tĂ© mis sur l’ophtalmologie, avec l’Ă©tude de 43 revues de la spĂ©cialitĂ© rĂ©fĂ©rencĂ©es dans les ISI-JCR 2001 reports. Un outil analytique idĂ©al devrait ĂȘtre facile Ă  employer, fiable, exempt de biais, aisĂ©ment accessible et totalement en adĂ©quation avec l’Ă©valuation de la qualitĂ© par des pairs. L’analyse de citation n’est pas conforme Ă  l’ensemble de ces critĂšres. « Ce n’est peut-ĂȘtre pas une surprise Ă©tant donnĂ© les difficultĂ©s inhĂ©rentes Ă  la tentative de mesurer un concept essentiellement intangible : la qualitĂ© et l’importance relatives de la recherche » ont conclu J. L. Sims et coll. Le JIF n’est pas neutre : il peut ĂȘtre un moyen de peser sur l’influence d’un article ou d’un journal. Il ne doit pas ĂȘtre utilisĂ© comme une maniĂšre d’Ă©viter, ou de se substituer Ă , l’examen par des pairs ou par d’autres scientifiques ou cliniciens.

Sims JL, McGhee CN. Citation analysis and journal impact factors in ophthalmology and vision science journals. Clin Experiment Ophthalmol 2003 ;31:14-22.

Copyright JIM.

[1] www.isinet.com


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