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Citation metrics are commonly used to measure the impact of scientific publications, including pharmaceutical journals. Impact factors, which are calculated by dividing the number of citations a journal receives by the number of articles published, are a traditional metric used to evaluate the influence of a journal. However, alternative metrics, or altmetrics, are becoming increasingly popular as a more comprehensive way to assess the impact of research. In this article, we will analyze the influence of pharmaceutical journals through both impact factors and altmetrics.

Impact Factors

Impact factors have been used for decades as a way to assess the influence of scientific publications. They are calculated by dividing the number of citations a journal receives in a given year by the number of articles published in the journal during the two previous years. The impact factor is often used as a proxy for the quality and importance of a journal.

According to the 2021 Journal Citation Reports, the top five pharmaceutical journals by impact factor are:

The New England Journal of Medicine (impact factor: 74.699)
The Lancet (impact factor: 79.322)
JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association (impact factor: 48.902)
Annals of Internal Medicine (impact factor: 28.528)
BMJ - British Medical Journal (impact factor: 30.223)

These journals are widely recognized as influential and highly regarded in the pharmaceutical industry. However, it is important to note that impact factors have limitations. For example, they do not account for the type of articles published or the impact of individual articles within a journal.

Altmetrics

Altmetrics offer a more comprehensive way to evaluate the impact of scientific publications, taking into account not only the number of citations but also other factors such as social media mentions, downloads, and references in policy documents. Altmetrics provide a more nuanced view of the influence of research and can help capture the societal impact of research.

Some examples of altmetrics tools include Altmetric, PlumX, and ImpactStory. Altmetric is one of the most widely used altmetrics tools, and it measures the attention that research receives across social media, news outlets, policy documents, and other sources. PlumX provides a range of metrics, including usage, captures, mentions, and social media. ImpactStory provides an overview of a researcher's impact, including traditional citations and alternative metrics.

According to Altmetric, the top five pharmaceutical journals by attention score, are:

The Lancet (attention score: 16,354)
The New England Journal of Medicine (attention score: 11,227)
BMJ - British Medical Journal (attention score: 6,677)
JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association (attention score: 6,454)
Annals of Internal Medicine (attention score: 2,674)

These altmetrics provide a more nuanced view of the influence of pharmaceutical journals, taking into account factors such as social media mentions, news coverage, and policy references.

Conclusion

Both impact factors and altmetrics provide valuable information about the influence of pharmaceutical journals. Impact factors are a traditional way to assess the quality and importance of a journal, while altmetrics provide a more comprehensive view of the impact of research, including societal impact. It is important to use both types of metrics when evaluating the influence of pharmaceutical journals. By using these metrics, researchers, publishers, and policymakers can make more informed decisions about the importance and relevance of scientific publications in the pharmaceutical industry.
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