The Number That's Devouring Science

The impact factor, once a simple way to rank scientific journals, has become an unyielding yardstick for hiring, tenure, and grants

October 14, 2005 Premium content for subscribers. Subscribe Today

In the beginning, during the late 1950s, it was just an innocent idea in Eugene Garfield's head. A Philadelphia researcher who described himself as a "documentation consultant," Mr. Garfield spent his free time thinking about scientific literature...

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