Impact factor: Publish in a high impact journal – or perish?


Summary of the PhD and postdoc session at the annual CIG retreat 2014


This year’s PhD student and postdoc session at the CIG retreat was organized as a round table discussion about journal impact factors with three invited speakers from different research and career backgrounds.

Winship Herr explained the original use of the impact factor and Béatrice Desvergne described efforts of the FBM to evaluate research in a more accurate and fair manner. Fred Fenter from Frontiers suggested that the journals themselves should be more active and provide additional services and metrics that make them attractive for paper submission. After the three speakers had given their view on impact factors, an interesting discussion emerged among the CIG assistants and the speakers.

We believe that active debates – not only at the CIG, but also in the entire scientific community – will help to reform the scientific publishing and evaluation system. If you are interested in the new evaluation policy at the FBM or in continuing the discussion with Fred Fenter at Frontiers, please contact us at


Tanja Bhuiyan, Marieke Hoekstra and Franziska Gruhl