Re: Journal Length Constraints

From: Tim Brody <>
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2007 16:11:06 +0000

Stevan Harnad wrote:
> [Identity Deleted] wrote:
>> the editor of the journal then asked us to re-submit our paper
>> as a letter to the editor. the journal's policy was that
>> reports were 1000-1200 words, and letters were under 500
>> words. as such, we had to do a complete re-write, despite
>> the fact that our paper had been deemed satisfactory
>> (with minor revision) by the referee.
>> letters do not count against an ISI Impact Factor...
> Thank you for your message and you may be right that relegating some accepted
> articles to letter status not only cuts their length but may also cut
> their usage and citations, which indirectly affects the journal's impact factor.

I believe the anonymous correspondent is referring to the way that the
ISI IF is calculated:

ISI IF = cites to journal / total articles

Hence cites to letters get counted in the numerator but are not averaged
by the denominator, which could be used by an unscrupulous editor to
boost their JIF.

i.e. the point is not that a shortened text may get fewer citations, but
that a particular calculation creates the perverse incentive to publish
a greater proportion of (still citable) 'letters' as the contents of a

Received on Tue Jan 23 2007 - 16:47:14 GMT

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