ESHRE journals further extend their impact factors

Published 15 July 2021

The latest impact factors, calculated for 2020 and released at the end of June, find Human Reproduction Update once again leading by far the categories of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, while Human Reproduction and Molecular Human Reproduction both make further gains.

The three ESHRE journal titles listed for impact factor ranking – Human Reproduction, Human Reproduction Update and Molecular Human Reproduction – have like most other journals in most categories increased their impact factors ratings in the latest release (for 2020). The figures, which became available at the end of June, show that Update retains its lead in the Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology categories with an unprecedented double-digit score of 15.61, almost twice that of its nearest pursuer in O&G, the American Journal of O&G, and a rise from 12.684 for 2019.

ESHRE’s flagship journal Human Reproduction rose from 5.733 for 2019 to 6.918 for 2020, while MHR rose from 3.636 to 4.025. All three titles are represented in the two categories of O&G and Reproductive Biology. The latter category is dominated by Update, Fertility and Sterility (IF 7.329) and HR.

Top six rankings in O&G
1. Human Reproduction Update 15.61
2. Am J Obstet Gynecol 8.661
3. Obstet Gynecol 7.661
4. Fertil Steril 7.329
5. Ultrasound in O&G 7.299
6. Human Reproduction 6.918

Tops six rankings in Reproductive Biology
1. Human Reproduction Update 15.61
2. Fertil Steril 7.329
3. Human Reproduction 6.918
4. Reprod Biol Endocrinol 5.211
5. Biol Reprod 4.285
6. J Ovarian Research 4.234

The journal citation reports by impact factor have since 2018 been run by an analytics company called Clarivate which, through its ‘Web of Science’ index, manages the calculation based on a journal’s average number of articles and the number of citations in a fixed two-year time period. What’s changing – and has changed already for the 2020 IFs – is the way the IF is calculated, now based on first publication online rather than allocation to an issue.

So the 2020 IFs have been calculated according to the date an article is first published online rather than the date of the issue in which it appears. This means that citations from articles first published online in 2020 but allocated by journals to a 2021 issue are now included in the calculation of the 2020 IF rather than the 2021 IF. This has meant that more citations are available for all journals and therefore a temporary inflation of the IF. There will be further modifications dependent on date of publication for the 2021 and 2022 IF calculations, after which the method will apparently remain standard.

A press release issued by Clarivate on 30 June noted that more than 20,000 journals in 254 research categories have been included in this latest round of citation reports, with more than 4600 fully open access. The O&G category lists more than 120 titles, while the Reproductive Biology category lists 33.

Commenting on the latest IFs, Update editor-in-chief Arne Sunde said: ‘Of course, we’re very happy with the increase in impact factors of Update and all the ESHRE journals. It is rewarding that the papers we publish are read and cited. The 2020 IF for Update is 15.61, a substantial increase from 12.684 in 2019. But we are very conscious that part of this increase is because of the way the IFs are calculated. This year there’s been an inflation of the IFs, while next year we expect there’ll be a deflation. Nevertheless, even using the old methodology we calculated an IF of 14.2 for Update, which is still an increase on last year. In 2020 we also had an increase in the number of submitted proposals, but it’s too early to say if this will continue into 2021.’

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