Friday, 10 June 2011

Leading Bioethics Journal's Editorial Management and Policy Questioned

A leading journal in my field of speciality, The American Journal of Bioethics, has been questioned regarding the soundness of its editorial management, administration and policies as one of its editorial board members, Hilde Lindemann, has resigned, airing doubts about the journal in a public letter, posted at Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog. The ensuing buzz in the comment thread has revived earlier criticism targetting AJOB's editor in chief, Glenn McGee, in an 2008 article in Scientific American, as well as an earlier critical discussion at Leiter's blog regarding the impressive ISI impact factor rating of AJOB. The news about this turmoil has also quickly reached into the general health sphere, through this blogpost. At the time of writing this, McGee has dismissed the doubts pertaining to AJOB's impact factor in the same comment thread, but not yet responded to Professor Hildemann's charges.

Stay tuned, I'm sure this business will offer quite a number of turns in the near future.

1 comment:

  1. As mentioned, it seems like self citations do not count for the high impact factor of AJB. I made a quick check in the Ethics list in the Social Science Edition list in ISI Journal Citation Report for 2009 and found that AM J BIOETHICS would have a Journal impact factor (JIF) of 3.7 instead of 4.0 if self citations for 2007 and 2008 were not to be counted. One could also find that AJB has a very low self citation share amounting to 7% for the years used for the Impact factor calculation. The second journal (ranked by JIF in the Journal Citation Report), PHILOS PUBLIC AFF, has a self citation share amounting to 13% and ETHICS, ranked third, has 19% self citations. One extreme is Journal of Business Ethics (ranked 10th with JIF=1.088), which has a self citation share of 53% All those shares are accounted for in their respective JIF levels.