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Beware the Tyranny, Resulted by Impact Factor Mania Among the Scientists: A Critical Review

Author:

C. C. Jayasundara

University of Kelaniya, LK
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Abstract

Publishing articles in high-ranked journals brings a higher payoff that designates a greater likelihood of scholastic success of academics and researchers. In the present climate, it provides many opportunities for researchers to be in a "Golden Club" and catch a great deal of offers from Head-hunters, particularly for jobs, research grants, and consultancies, as many people in the research/academic industry still rely on the fact that greater impact is widely apparent in high ranked journals and the journals with high Impact Factor (IF). In universities, many researchers in academic administration positions, who have already progressed with high visibility by publishing research in journals with high IF, always attempt to put into action the same level of requirements and stipulations in publications for tenure decisions of academic and research staff together with rewarding and endowing perks including financial incentives. Assessing junior colleagues purely by exercising the IF score or journal ranks in senior researchers' mind-set has been widely prevalent in academia in the global context. Enforcing rules and regulations for promotion, recruitment, and financial incentives for tenure decisions only for the publications in high profiled journals with top IF is a kind of mania. It, in turn, creates a dismantle discrimination and precede for academic bullying and professional prejudice in universities. Thus, this paper discusses some of the problems with IF and journal ranking mechanisms, which consist of prevailing distortions in the scientific industry by disclosing the failures to predict the definite impact and creation of perverse incentives.  It further proposes some points to be taken for reforming/devising an appropriate mechanism targeting the definite impact of essential scientific values of research and researchers that can be readily used for measuring the impact.
How to Cite: Jayasundara, C.C., 2021. Beware the Tyranny, Resulted by Impact Factor Mania Among the Scientists: A Critical Review. Journal of the University of Ruhuna, 8(1), pp.01–17. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jur.v8i1.7960
Published on 30 Dec 2021.

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