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Journal Impact Versus Paper Impact

Prodigal Academic says when you are choosing where to submit a manuscript, it's important to consider who is most likely to actually read it. While her institution may place more emphasis on publishing in journals with high impact factors, she would rather see her paper make an impact among her peers. "If I am doing physics-type measurements on a protein, I would prefer to put it in a physics-type journal — where others might pick up on it and find it useful — rather than a protein-type journal where most readers could care less about this physics-type measurement, even if the impact factor is lower," Prodigal Academic says. "Even though my bean-counting impact might be lower, I am counting on the actual impact being higher." But, because journal impact factors play into citation dynamics, early-career investigators should strive to strike a balance between impact factor and target audience, she adds.

The Scan

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