Yesterday, I looked at the Thomson Reuter’s Journal Impact Factors (TRJIF) in relation to archaeology journal prices and found negative correlations. Today I examined the 5 year TRJIF scores of those same archaeology journals listed in the Thomson Reuter Journal Citation Report and found that there are even stronger negative correlations. This would indicate that in the longterm journal prices do not reflect the quality of research found in the journals.
As discussed before the impact factor is a measurement of the average citation an article in a given journal receives, a common indication of the quality of the journal. The TRJIF is usually calculated on a 2 year period but the five-year average is posted as well. As would be expected, all but one of the archaeology journals have a higher 5 year Impact Factor then a 2 year impact factor. The results of the 5 year Impact Factor comparison indicates that there is a much stronger negative correlation between commercial journal prices and Impact Factors (Figure 1 and Figure 2). What this means is there is not connection between quality and more expensive journals. In fact, the opposites is probably true as price goes up the quality of journals goes down.
As with before, two possible conclusions can be drawn from these results: commercial publishers are wrong about their pricing practices OR TRJIF does not actually measure journal quality. Results, ether way, that could have profound consequences for some archaeologists.