The Impact Factor

Publication: ABNF Journal
Author: McNeal, Gloria J
Date published: April 1, 2011

As the nursing profession continues to elevate its status to achieve worldwide recognition as a scientific discipline, the medium by which its body of knowledge and documented evidence is disseminated globally is through the published works of its scholars. The broad measure of that work is ranked according to the Impact Factor (IF), a rating score assigned to the journal in which the work is published. Arguably amid some criticism, the gold standard of that ranking system has long been the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), now Thomson Reuters, which computes the number of times a journal article has been cited by other authors, and publishes that ranking in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR). The number of citations, as calculated by the IF formula, provides an indirect measure of the extent to which a scholar's work has become the driving force in a scientific field of study. Given that impact factors are increasingly playing a role in appointment, promotion and tenure decisions, nurse scholars should consider, among other variables, ranking and quality when selecting ajournai for the publication of their work.

JCR lists three key criteria in determining the quality of ajournai: impact factor (IF), citation half-life, and citation density. The IF is computed by dividing the number of citations ajournai receives by the number of articles published in the preceding two years. The citation half-life is the length of time an article is cited after the date of publication, and the citation density measures the mean number of references per article. JCR ranks thousands of journals in its database, however, only a small number (46) of nursing journals are included among the listings. The average IF for the JCR listing of nursing journals is less than 2. The highest rated nursing journals in 2009, the latest year in which data are recorded, were BiVfA Issues in Perinatal Care with an IF of 1.919; the Internationaljournal of Nursing Studies, 1.910; and Nursing Research, 1.798. Comparatively, the IF for The New England Journal of Medicine in 2009 was 47.050.

While The ABNF Journal is not listed in the JCR reports, it has been ranked by SCImago Journal & Country Rank (SJR). The SJR indicator measures the scientific influence of the average article published in ajournai, reflects the degree to which an article is central to the scientific dialogue, and uses the same formula t์iat derives me journal impact factor computed by Thomson Reuters. SJR reported that in 2009, The ABNF Journal published a total of 24 documents, with 87 references, 23 citations and 58 citable documents over the prior 3 years; 0,49 citations per document over 4 years; and an average of 3,63 references per document. The SJR for The ABNF Journal was measured at 0,052, as compared to the SJR for Nursing Research, 0,130; and, The New England Journal of Medicine, 3,337.

The most well known database for nursing journals is the Cumulative Index for Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), which formulated the Allen Rating System that rank orders nursing journals on a point scale of 1 to 10. Journals are judged on three criteria: content (4 points), reputation (2 points), and frequency of citation (4 points). The total points in all three categories are added to yield the final ranking. The 2007 Edition of the Key and Electronic Nursing Journals used the Allen Rating System to rank The ABNF Journal at 3, where scores in Sie database ranged from 0 to 10. According to the Allen Rating System, The ABNF Journal published 22 articles, 32% of which were identified as research studies. The type of peer review was listed as follows: blinded (PB), double-blinded (DP), editorial board review (EB), and expert peer review (XP).

Moving forward in the advancement of nursing scholarship, the foregoing data indicate that The ABNF Journal has become an internationally recognized journal of nursing research, and occupies a unique niche in its focus on addressing issues of concern for the often muted voice of the minority nurse scholar. In its 21 -year history, it has moved at an incredible rate of speed to keep pace with its sister non-minority nursing journals, the oldest of which have been in existence for over 100 years. In its coming of age, The ABNF Journal is well positioned to take the lead in the global scientific discourse that informs the development and implementation of interventional strategies designed to reduce healthcare disparities.

Continuing to positively affect the variables that measure IF, in this issue of The ABNF Journal nurse scholars share their findings related to health literacy in the management of diabetes mellitus; the extent of and challenges associated with faculty participation in institutional decision making at a public and private HBCU; healthy lifestyle modification in the management of hypertension; and, knowledge, attitudes, health beliefs and practices regarding prostate cancer among Nigerian men residing in the District of Columbia.


Allen, M. (2007). Key and Electronic Journals: Characteristics and Database Coverage, July 2007 Edition. Accessed March 13, 2011 at: keyjournals07.pdf

Allen, M., Jacob, S.K., and Levy, J.R. (2006). Mapping the literature of nursing: 1996-2000. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 94, 206-220.

Birth-Issues in Perinatal Care Impact Factor. Accessed March 13, 2011 at:

Gennaro, S. (2010). Impact and scholarship. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 42, 233.

Science tracking trends and performance in basic research. Accessed March 13, 2011 at mar28-10_1/

Sherwill, P. [Powerpoint Presentation] Journal impact factors: What are they and how can they be used? Accessed March 13, 2011 at: Factors%20Tutorial.ppt#256

SJR: The ABNF Journal. Accessed March 13, 2011 at: &clean=0

Author affiliation:

Gloria J. McNeal, PhD, MSN, ACNS-BC, FAAN

Author affiliation:

Gloria J. McNeal, PhD, MSN, ACNS-BC, FAAN, is the founding dean of the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. She was recently appointed to the Executive Committee of the RWJI IOM Initiative on the Future of Nursing, California Regional Action Coalition, one of five pilot states that has been charged to implement the eight recommendations of the October 2010 IOM Report on The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health..

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