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CUIDEN Citation and the value of the Impact Factor (vaFI)

Liliana Marcela Reina Leal,1 Manuel Amezcua1,2
1Grupo de Estudios Documentales, Fundación Index. Granada, España. 2Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Granada, España

Index de Enfermería [Index Enferm] 2012; 21(3): 119-120








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Reina Leal, Liliana Marcela; Amezcua, Manuel. CUIDEN Citation and the value of the Impact Factor (vaFI). Index de Enfermería [Index Enferm] (digital edition) 2012; 21(3). In <http://www.index-f.com/index-enfermeria/v21n3/1920e.php> Consulted by




    For almost two decades, the Document Studies Group of the Index Foundation has released CUIDEN Citation, a tool that forms a part of the CUIDEN family, and is designed to provide information about the indicators of impact or consequence of the nursing journals published in the Iberoamerican Scientific Space (ECI). These impact indicators have been published biannually and in their latest update, included the "setpoint Impact Factor (vaFI). The vaFI arises from an interest in understanding the equivalence between the CUIDEN Immediate Impact Indicator (RIC) and the Impact Factor (FI), bibliometric indicators that basically evaluate, through the counting of citations made during a certain period of time, the impact of scientific publications.
    The FI allows the evaluation of the relative importance of a scientific journal in comparison to others in the same discipline area; it is considered the main bibliometric indicator for assessing scientific journals and the first objective measure developed for this purpose within the diversity of bibliometric indicators.
1,2 This indicator normalizes the number of citations according to the size of the journal,3 showing the visibility and impact that scientific publications have over researchers. This is conditioned by the citation, as a citation received by the article, but depending on the quality of the article can also be influenced by other factors such as the prestige of the author, the timeliness of the topic, the language used and the quality of the journal, among other factors. The calculation of this indicator is done by dividing the number of citations received for articles published in a given journal during the year of study, corresponding to the two previous years, by the number of citable articles published by that journal during the same time period.
    Moreover, the RIC indicator, as it is currently presented, has its origin in a request made to the Index Foundation by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) in Philadelphia (USA), which annually calculates the FI of journals included in the Science Citation Index, the Social Science Index and the Arts and Humanities Index. Said institution requested to withdraw the bibliometric indicators of ECI nursing publications from the website of Index Foundation, claiming the FI formula to be its own intellectual property and therefore its exclusive right to use for calculations.
4 This act led the GED to rethink its formula for calculating indicators, allowing it to assess the impact of nursing scientific publications produced in the ECI. In this formula, the RIC shows the impact of publications, taking into account a three year window, i.e. this indicator is calculated by dividing the number of citations that a source journal receives in the study year, plus those of the two previous years, over the number of articles published in the year of study. Moreover, the RIC criterion is better adjusted to the behaviour of citations in an applied science like nursing, whose period of obsolescence is usually four years.5
    Currently, there is an excessive reliance on the FI calculated by ISI, which in fact is the most widely used indicator internationally, and practically the only one taken into account by more than a few governments when evaluating scientists and making decisions in the construction of science policy, without considering that this should not be the only form of knowledge evaluation.
1,6,7 It is necessary to use other forms of evaluation that allow for the contextualization of the influence of scientific production in the development of the discipline in which it is framed.8 Therefore, it should be remembered that the FI is not an indicator of the quality of work, as it only evaluates journals in terms of citations received.9,10 Because of the erroneous association between publication in journals with high impact factors and quality of work, it is thought that in order to be published articles must undergo a rigorous selection process;3 this is only an assumption and has not been scientifically corroborated. However, there is still not a consensus on the best way to evaluate the quality of scientific work and for now peer evaluation is considered the best alternative.1,6,7 It is necessary to create qualitative evaluations based on criteria of relevance, rigor and usefulness, which compliment the quantitative evaluation indicators.9,11
    This system of evaluation based on FI is useful for internationally visible scientific production, which is covered mainly in Anglo-Saxon countries, but shows limitations for assessing the scientific production of Iberoamerican nursing, as only a fraction of this production is indexed in the ISI databases.9 We hope these limitations diminish with the application of the recent agreement between the ISI and Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO), with the aim of integrating the SciELO collection into the Web of Knowledge, to give greater visibility and assess to scientific production generated in the ECI.12 However, despite this agreement and due to the limitations of SciELO (it does not include publications that do not allow open access), it must be recognized that not all nursing scientific publications generated, which are the most easily accessible and transferable by clinicians, will be covered in the regional context.9
    Meanwhile, the GED continues to develop its own indexes of the scientific production of regional nursing, giving nursing research visibility and publicizing its impact and consumption. Because of this the vaFI can be presented as a value that shows the equivalence between the RIC and FI; by finding the quotient of the value of RIC and the vaFI, the FI value according to the ISI can be produced (the first calculations refer to 2010 and are available on: http://www.index-f.com/cuiden_cit/citacion.php). The important fact here is that these are values based on scientific production assessed by CUIDEN Citation, which in 2010 included 36 source journals in the study. These results show that the behaviour of RIC indicators, regarding the behaviour of those of FI, demonstrates values that favour scientific production in the ECI. This proves the reality of the exponential increase in the production and use of scientific production by Iberoamerican nurses, who should undoubtedly have an effect on the consolidation of the process of construction in the nursing discipline.13


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