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Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship
Summer 2009

Letter to the Editor

Regarding my article published in the Spring 2009 issue of ISTL (Percentile-Based Journal Impact Factors: A Neglected Collection Development Metric), it has come to my attention that my literature review missed an important conference paper by Pudovkin and Garfield.

Pudovkin, A. and Garfield E. 2004. Rank-normalized impact factor: a way to compare journal performance across subject categories. Presented at the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIST) Annual Meeting, Providence, RI. November 17, 2004. Published in Proceedings of the 67th Annual Meeting of ASIST 41: 507-515. [Online]. Available:

Though both my article and the Pudovkin/Garfield paper do essentially the same calculation, we apply it in rather different ways. Their paper focuses on evaluation of individual scholars using normalized impact factors and validates the metric against publications of highly cited authors. My paper focuses on using the metric for journal collection development decisions, especially as it relates to cross-disciplinary comparisons.

The detailed Microsoft Excel procedure in my paper also provides librarians with an easy way to apply this tool. Still the Pudovkin/Garfield paper is highly relevant prior art, and I regret that it was missed in my literature search.

On a second point, while the article was in process, Thomson Scientific expanded their Journal Citation Reports citation metrics from the original four (impact factor, immediacy index, cited half life, citing half life) and added three new ones (5-year impact factor and two Eigenfactor metrics).

A. Ben Wagner
Sciences Librarian
Science & Engineering Library
University at Buffalo
Buffalo, New York

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