Quality and Impact Analysis: Frontiers in Psychology

By Pascal Rocha da Silva, Frontiers analyst

Frontiers in Psychology was launched in 2010. In just 4 years, it has become the largest and the 2nd most-cited psychology journal in the world .

The Impact Factor (IF), defined as the total number of citations in a given year divided by the number of citable articles over the previous two-year period, is the most commonly accepted metric of journal quality (but not of an individual paper or researcher). It was formally established by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) in 1975. As the IF can be heavily skewed by a few highly-cited papers, total citations generated over the same two-year period provide a more accurate indication of the overall influence or impact of the articles published by a journal in a field. Frontiers is a pioneer in the use of article-level and author-level metrics and encourages every author to use these to track the development of his or her readership on a more granular level.

Analysis within the category of Psychology

There are 597 journals listed in the category of Psychology in the 2014 Journal Citations Reports (JCR) provided by Thomson Reuters in 2015. Frontiers in Psychology is one of the 19 Gold open-access journals.

Below, the results of our comparative analysis on the article volume published, impact factor (IF) achieved and the total number of citations achieved in 2014 based on articles published over the two preceding years, 2012 and 2013. (Click here to see the volume and number of citations of other Frontiers journals).

Comparison of impact factors and volume among all open-access journals (19) in Psychology

psychology-volume-all-oaFigure 1. Frontiers in Psychology compared to 19 open-access journals listed in all 11 JCR Psychology categories. The journal analysis is based on the 2014 Journal Citations Reports published by Thomson Reuters, 2015.

Comparison of impact factors and volume among all journals (597) in Psychology

psychology-volume-all-journals

Figure 2. Frontiers in Psychology compared to all 597 journals (subscription and open access) listed in all 11 JCR Psychology categories. The journal analysis is based on the 2014 Journal Citations Reports published by Thomson Reuters, 2015.

Comparison of total citations in 2014 for articles published in the previous two years among all journals (597) in Psychology

pyschology-most-cited

Figure 3. Top 20 most-cited journals in Psychology in 2014 (citations in 2014 were counted for articles published in 2012 and 2013) in all 11 JCR Psychology categories. The journal analysis is based on the 2014 Journal Citations Reports published by Thomson Reuters, 2015.


Summary

Amongst the 19 Gold open-access journals listed in the categories of Psychology, Frontiers in Psychology:

  • Ranks 3rd on impact factor – 2.4 times higher than the average for Psychology;
  • Is the largest open-access journal in Psychology – 27 times larger than the average article volume in open access journals in Psychology.

Amongst all of the 597 journals listed in the categories of Psychology, Frontiers in Psychology:

  • Is in the top 21% on impact factor – 34% higher than the average for Psychology;
  • Is the world’s largest psychology journal overall – 21 times larger than the average article volume in all journals in Psychology;
  • Is the 2nd most-cited journal in 2014 based on articles published in 2012 and 2013 (second to Frontiers in Human Neuroscience).

In summary, Frontiers in Psychology, one of the youngest journals publishing peer-reviewed scholarly articles in psychology, has become the largest and 2nd most-cited journal in psychology with an impact factor in the top 21%.

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, also listed in the 2014 JCR category of Psychology, is the most-cited and 2nd largest Psychology journal. Other Frontiers journals listed in the 2014 Journal Citation Reports follow a similar pattern – view the analysis here.

Further significance

The results are more significant if one considers:

  1. Frontiers does not engineer the IF by setting a rejection rate, and instead operates an impact neutral peer-review process.
  2. That post-hoc selection of the top 5-10% most cited articles in Frontiers in Psychology(as other journals try to do on submission) would result in an Impact Factor above 10.

Key to success

At Frontiers, we publish all articles that are scientifically correct. We engineered the Collaborative Peer Review with a review mandate focused on enhancing article quality by means of rigorous and constructive feedback from expert reviewers, quick and direct interactions between authors, reviewers and the editor enabled by our review forum platform, and we enhance transparency by acknowledging reviewers and editors on the published articles. This performance analysis indicates that the impact neutral Collaborative Peer Review conducted in Frontiers together with an outstanding editorial board has become a powerful model for publishing academic papers.

All of this is only possible with a stellar editorial board of researchers (see infographic). Frontiers congratulates Field Chief Editor Axel Cleeremans for leading this field so successfully, the stellar board of Specialty Chief Editors (see below) for their work in building the community, the Associate Editors for safeguarding the integrity of the Frontiers peer-review and the outstanding Review Editors for their dedication and diligence in the peer-review process as well as the Frontiers Journal Management team for their support to the editors.

Frontiers in Psychology fact sheet (as of November 2015):

Website: journal.frontiersin.org/journal/psychology
Launched: 2010
Impact Factor: 2.560
Number of sections: 24
Number of Research Topics: 374
Number of editors: 4,885
Number of articles published: 5,605
Number of article views: 526,362 / month
Number of article downloads: 130,274 / month

The same analysis of volume, impact factor and number of citations of other Frontiers journals can be found here.

Chief Editors of Frontiers in Psychology

Axel Cleeremans, Université Libre de Bruxelles | Field Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology

Isabelle Peretz, Université de Montréal | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology –Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience

Robert J Zatorre, McGill University | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology – Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience

Luiz Pessoa, University of Maryland | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology – Emotion Science

Beatrice De Gelder, Maastricht University | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology –Emotion Science

Eddy J Davelaar, University of London | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology –Cognitive Science

Manuel Carreiras, Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology – Language Sciences

Morten Overgaard, Aarhus University | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology –Consciousness Research

Karol Osipowicz, Jefferson Neuroscience Hospital | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology – Evolutionary Psychology and Neuroscience

Douglas Kauffman, Boston University School of Medicine | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology – Educational Psychology

Lorenza S Colzato, Leiden University | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology –Cognition

Bernhard Hommel, Leiden University | Specialty Chief Editor Frontiers in Psychology –Cognition

Antoine Bechara, University of Southern California | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology – Psychopathology

Xavier Noel, F.R.S.-F.N.R.S | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology – Psychopathology

Philippe G Schyns, University of Glasgow | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology –Perception Science

Lera Boroditsky, Stanford University | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology – Cultural Psychology

Jill L Adelson, University of Louisville | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology –Quantitative Psychology and Measurement

Jason C. Immekus, University of Louisville | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology –Quantitative Psychology and Measurement 

Gianluca Castelnuovo, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology – Psychology for Clinical Settings

Natasha Kirkham, Cornell University | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology –Developmental Psychology

Jessica S Horst, University of Sussex | Specialty Chief Editor, Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology – Developmental Psychology

Marcel Zentner, University of Innsbruck | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology –Personality and Social Psychology

Jeffrey R Stevens, University of Nebraska-Lincoln | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology – Comparative Psychology

Aaron Williamon, Royal College of Music | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology –Performance Science

Claus Vögele, University of Luxembourg | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology –Eating Behavior

Adrian Meule, University of Salzburg | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology – Eating Behavior

Guy Cheron, Université Libre de Bruxelles | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology –Movement Science and Sport Psychology

Markus Werning, Ruhr University Bochum | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology –Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology

Erica Cosentino, Ruhr University Bochum | Assistant Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology –Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology

Richard Eleftherios Boyatzis, Case Western Reserve University | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology – Organizational Psychology

Ariane Bazan, Université Libre de Bruxelles | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology –Psychoanalysis and Neuropsychoanalysis

Hauke R Heekeren, Freie Universität Berlin | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology –Decision Neuroscience

Paul E. M. Phillips, University of Washington | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology –Decision Neuroscience

Anton Nijholt, University of Twente | Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Psychology – Human-Media Interaction

 

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