What Is An Impact Factor?
The Impact Factor is also referred to as the Journal Impact Factor (JIF). Impact factors are used as a tool in measuring or ascertaining the importance of a journal by calculating the total number of times the selected articles were cited within the last couple of years.
Also, the impact factor is often utilized as a proxy for the relative usefulness of a journal within its field. It shows the annual average number of citations that recently published articles or write-ups in a particular journal gets.
Journals that have superior impact factors are most times considered to be essential than those with lower impact factors.
Now, What Is An Index Factor?
The index factor is known as the author-level metric. What it does is to gauge or measure the productivity as well as the citation impact of the publication written by a scholar or a scientist. This index is centered around the total number of citations a scholar has received in other publications as well as his/her most cited papers.
This index is also applicable to a group of scientists, a department, a university, or a country. Index factor is also expressed as the h-factor, and it is referred to as the highest value of h. What the h represents is the total number of papers published by an author and also the total number of times it has been cited.
This index was designed to improve upon easy yardsticks or measurements like the total number of publications or citations. This index is helpful when two scientists working in similar fields are to be compared. It should be noted that citation conventions differ from field to field.
The quality of a scientific publication cannot be judged based on the total number of papers published or the total number of citations. The total number of citations can also be affected disproportionately due to its participation in a single publication of major influence.
They include, for instance, methodological papers that are suggesting new successful techniques, approximations, or methods, which can generate a large number of citations. The index factor helps in the measurement of the quality and quantity of scientific output.
How Are Both Of Them Different?
On the one hand, the impact factor is used in measuring the prestige of a journal. On the other hand, the Index factor is used to measure the prestige of research. The impact factor is used to measure the reputation of a journal, but it cannot be used to measure the effects of an individual article or a researcher.
The Index factor, however, goes beyond just measuring your publications as well as its impact. It is also important to you if you've published a lot of papers.
The index factor also saves time and effort. Plus, tenure and grant committees are embracing the index factor, and it is becoming more popular than the impact factor.
To Wrap It Up
When it comes to ease and convenience, the index factor is becoming the trend. It, however, has its drawbacks. Also, it is advisable to mention the impact factor in your published articles, your Index factor, and other article-level metrics on your grant application, for instance.