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Quality and Impact Analysis: Frontiers in Plant Science

Last updated on 10.Jul.2016

PlantScience363x2736In June 2016, Frontiers in Plant Science, received the official Impact Factor of 4.495 — up from 3.948 in the previous report. Since its launch in 2010, it has become the largest and the most cited open-access journal in plant sciences, and the 5th most cited amongst all journals in plant sciences.

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  plant sciences

There are 209 journals listed in the category of Plant Science in the 2015 Journal Citation Reports (JCR) provided by Thomson Reuters in 2016. Frontiers in Plant Science is one of the 35 open-access journals.

Below are the results of our comparative analysis of these journals on the article volume published, IF and total number of citations achieved in 2015, based on articles published over the two preceding years, 2013 and 2014. (Click here to see the volume and number of citations of other Frontiers journals).

Total citations among all open-access journals in plant sciences

Plant Science_F1_20160714

Figure 1. Total number of citations in 2015 for articles published in 2013 and 2014, ranked for all (35) open-access journals listed in the plant sciences JCR category. Plot shows ranks for the top 20 most-cited open-access journals, where (in red) Frontiers in Plant Science ranks #1 most-cited. The journal analysis is based on the 2015 Journal Citation Reports published by Thomson Reuters in 2016.

 

Total citations among all journals in plant sciences

Plant Science_F2_20160714

Figure 2. Total number of citations in 2015 for articles published in 2013 and 2014, ranked for all  (209) journals (open-access and subscription) listed in the plant sciences JCR category. Plot shows the ranks for the 20 most-cited journals, where (in red) Frontiers in Plant Science ranks #5 most-cited (top 2%).  The journal analysis is based on the 2015 Journal Citation Reports published by Thomson Reuters in 2016.

Relationship between volume and Impact Factor for all open-access journals in plant sciences

Plant Science4

Figure 3. Volume of citable items in 2015, plotted against the 2015 journal Impact Factor, for all 35 open-access journals listed in the plant sciences JCR category. Plot shows all open-access journals in the category, with (in red) Frontiers in Plant Science. Dot size is proportional to the total number of citations received during the citation-counting period. The journal analysis is based on the 2015 Journal Citation Reports published by Thomson Reuters in 2016. 

Relationship between volume and Impact Factor for all journals in plant sciences

Plant Science3

Figure 4.Volume of citable items in 2015, plotted against the 2015 journal Impact Factor, for all 209 journals (open-access  and subscription) listed in the plant sciences JCR category. Plot shows all journals in the category, with (in red) Frontiers in Plant Science. Dot size is proportional to the total number of citations received during the citation-counting period. The journal analysis is based on the 2015 Journal Citation Reports published by Thomson Reuters in 2016. 

Summary

Amongst the 35 open-access journals listed in the category of plant sciences, Frontiers in Plant Science:

  • Is the largest open-access journal in plant sciences – 12 times larger than the average journal.
  • Is the #1 most cited journal in 2015 based on articles published in 2013 and 2014.
  • Ranks #1 on Impact Factor.

Amongst all of the 209 journals listed in the category of plant sciences, Frontiers in Plant Science is:

  • The world’s largest plant sciences journal overall – 11 times larger than the average journal.
  • The #5 most cited journal in 2015 based on articles published in 2013 and 2014.
  • In the top 7% of Impact Factors.

Further significance

The results are more significant if one considers that:

  1. Frontiers does not engineer the IF by setting a rejection rate, and instead operates an impact neutral peer-review process.
  2. Frontiers in Plant Science is only 6 years old and the results represented here are based on articles published between 2013-2014 – its third and forth year since launch.

Key to success

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

All of this is only possible with a stellar editorial board of researchers (see infographic). Frontiers congratulates Field Chief Editor Joshua Heazlewood, and former Field Chief Editor Richard Jorgensen, the outstanding board of Specialty Chief Editors and the diligent work of the Associate and Review Editors (see full board), as well as the Frontiers Journal Management team, for this spectacular achievement.

Frontiers in Plant Science fact sheet (as of June 2016):

Website: http://journal.frontiersin.org/journal/plant-science
Launched: 2010
Impact Factor 4.495
Number of sections: 18
Number of Research Topics: 251
Number of editors: 2,907
Number of articles published: 4,005
Total number of article views: 7,298,409
Total number of article downloads: 2,094,288

The same analysis of volume, IF and number of citations of other Frontiers journals in the 2015 JCR can be found here.

Similar analysis for the 2014 JCR can be found here.

Chief Editors (see full board):

Joshua Heazlewood, University of Melbourne, Australia | Field Chief Editor, Frontiers in Plant Science, Former Specialty Chief Editor, Plant Proteomics

Diego Rubiales, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Spain | Specialty Chief Editor, Crop Science and Horticulture

Choong-Min Ryu, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, South Korea | Specialty Chief Editor, Plant Biotic Interactions

Brigitte Mauch-Mani, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland | Specialty Chief Editor, Plant Biotic Interactions

Karina Vera Rosa Schafer, Rutgers University, USA | Specialty Chief Editor, Functional Plant Ecology

Maciej Andrzej Zwieniecki, University of California Davis, USA | Specialty Chief Editor, Plant Biophysics and Modeling

Jens Kossmann, Stellenbosch University, South Africa | Specialty Chief Editor, Plant Biotechnology

Zoran Nikoloski, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Germany | Specialty Chief Editor, Plant Systems and Synthetic Biology

James Lloyd, Stellenbosch University, South Africa | Assistant Specialty Chief Editor, Plant Biotechnology

Simon Gilroy, University of Wisconsin, USA | Specialty Chief Editor, Plant Cell Biology

Elizabeth A. Kellogg, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, USA | Specialty Chief Editor, Plant Evolution and Development

Neelima Roy Sinha, University of California Davis, USA | Specialty Chief Editor, Plant Evolution and Development

Richard Jorgensen, University of Arizona, USA | Specialty Chief Editor, Plant Genetics and Genomics, Former Field Chief Editor, Frontiers in Plant Science

Kazuki Saito, RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science / Chiba University, Japan | Specialty Chief Editor, Plant Metabolism and Chemodiversity

Marta Wilton Vasconcelos, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Portugal | Specialty Chief Editor, Plant Nutrition

Steven Carl Huber, USDA-ARS and University of Illinois, USA | Specialty Chief Editor, Plant Physiology

Andreas P M Weber, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Germany | Specialty Chief Editor, Plant Physiology

Markus Geisler, University of Fribourg, Switzerland | Specialty Chief Editor, Plant Traffic and Transport

Wendy A Peer, University of Maryland, USA | Specialty Chief Editor, Plant Traffic and Transport

Andy Pereira, University of Arkansas, USA | Specialty Chief Editor, Plant Traffic and Transport

Roger Deal, Emory University, USA | Specialty Chief Editor, Technical Advances in Plant Science

P.K. Ramachandran Nair, University of Florida, USA | Specialty Chief Editor, Agroecology and Land Use Systems

Richard D Emes, University of Nottingham, UK | Specialty Chief Editor, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

Samuel A Cushman, United States Forest Service, USA | Specialty Chief Editor, Evolutionary and Population Genetics

A special thanks goes to:

Richard Jorgensen, University of Arizona, USA | Former Field Chief Editor, Frontiers in Plant Science, and Specialty Chief Editor, Plant Genetics and Genomics,

Joshua Heazlewood, University of Melbourne, Australia | Former Field Chief Editor, Frontiers in Plant Science, Former Specialty Chief Editor, Plant Proteomics

Rodrigo A Gutierrez, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile | Former Specialty Chief Editor, Plant Systems and Synthetic Biology

 

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