As the announcement posted on July 11, 2016, American Society for Microbiology (ASM) no longer supports impact factors for its journals:1
Washington, DC – July 11, 2016 - The editors-in-chief of ASM journals and ASM leadership have decided to no longer advertise the impact factors of ASM journals on the journals’ websites. This decision was made in order to avoid contributing to a distorted value system that inappropriately emphasizes high IFs. High-IF journals limit the number of accepted articles to create a perception of exclusivity, and individuals receive disproportionate rewards for articles in high IF journals, while science as a whole suffers from a distorted values system and delayed communication of research.
It is the hope of ASM journal editors-in-chief and ASM leadership to move away from this system and the undue focus on journal IF, which detracts from the advancement of scientific research, by removing IFs from ASM journal websites. In doing so, ASM hopes to make a statement of principle that other journals will follow.
Calculated by various companies and promoted by publishers, journal impact factors (JIFs) are a measure of the average number of citations that a journal’s articles receive over the past two years. They were designed to indicate the quality of journals, but researchers often use the metric to assess the quality of individual papers — and even, in some cases, their authors.2
“To me, what’s essential is to purge the conversation of the impact factor,” says ASM chief executive Stefano Bertuzzi, a prominent critic of the metric. “We want to make it so tacky that people will be embarrassed just to mention it.”