An assessment of the predictive validity of impact factor scores: Implications for academic employment decisions in social work

Gary Holden, Gary Rosenberg, Kathleen Barker, Patrick Onghena

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Objective: Bibliometrics is a method of examining scholarly communications. Concerns regarding the use of bibliometrics in general, and the impact factor score (IFS) in particular, have been discussed across disciplines including social work. Although there are frequent mentions in the literature of the IFS as an indicator of the impact or quality of scholars' work, little empirical work has been published regarding the validity of such use. Method: A proportionate, stratified, random sample, of n=323 articles was selected from 17 Web of Science listed social work journals published during the 1992 to 1994 period. Results: The relationship between journals'IFSs and the actual impact of articles published in those journals (predictive validity) was r=.41 (short term) and r =.42 (long term).Conclusion: The practice of using the IFS as a proxy indicator of article impact merits significant concern as well as further empirical investigation.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)613-624
    Number of pages12
    JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
    Volume16
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Nov 1 2006

    Fingerprint

    Social Work
    Bibliometrics
    social work
    Proxy
    Communication
    random sample
    communications
    science

    Keywords

    • Career development
    • Citation analysis
    • Decision making
    • Educational personnel
    • Faculty
    • Higher education
    • Hiring
    • Impact factor scores
    • Occupational tenure
    • Personnel promotion
    • Personnel selection
    • Reappointment
    • Scientific communication
    • Teacher tenure
    • Validity

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Psychology(all)

    Cite this

    An assessment of the predictive validity of impact factor scores : Implications for academic employment decisions in social work. / Holden, Gary; Rosenberg, Gary; Barker, Kathleen; Onghena, Patrick.

    In: Research on Social Work Practice, Vol. 16, No. 6, 01.11.2006, p. 613-624.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Holden, Gary ; Rosenberg, Gary ; Barker, Kathleen ; Onghena, Patrick. / An assessment of the predictive validity of impact factor scores : Implications for academic employment decisions in social work. In: Research on Social Work Practice. 2006 ; Vol. 16, No. 6. pp. 613-624.
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