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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

The strike rate index: a new index for journal quality based on journal size and the h-index of citations

William Barendse

Author Affiliations

CSIRO Livestock Industries, Queensland Bioscience Precinct, 306 Carmody Road, St. Lucia, Queensland 4067, Australia

Biomedical Digital Libraries 2007, 4:3  doi:10.1186/1742-5581-4-3

Published: 19 April 2007

Abstract

Quantifying the impact of scientific research is almost always controversial, and there is a need for a uniform method that can be applied across all fields. Increasingly, however, the quantification has been summed up in the impact factor of the journal in which the work is published, which is known to show differences between fields. Here the h-index, a way to summarize an individual's highly cited work, was calculated for journals over a twenty year time span and compared to the size of the journal in four fields, Agriculture, Condensed Matter Physics, Genetics and Heredity and Mathematical Physics. There is a linear log-log relationship between the h-index and the size of the journal: the larger the journal, the more likely it is to have a high h-index. The four fields cannot be separated from each other suggesting that this relationship applies to all fields. A strike rate index (SRI) based on the log relationship of the h-index and the size of the journal shows a similar distribution in the four fields, with similar thresholds for quality, allowing journals across diverse fields to be compared to each other. The SRI explains more than four times the variation in citation counts compared to the impact factor.