The influence of online posting dates on the bibliometric indicators of scientific articles

by   Mercedes Echeverria, et al.

This article analyses the difference in timing between the online availability of articles and their corresponding print publication and how it affects two bibliometric indicators: Journal Impact Factor (JIF) and Immediacy Index. This research examined 18,526 articles, the complete collection of articles and reviews published by a set of 61 journals on Urology and Nephrology in 2013 and 2014. The findings suggest that Advance Online Publication (AOP) accelerates the citation of articles and affects the JIF and Immediacy Index values. Regarding the JIF values, the comparison between journals with or without AOP showed statistically significant differences (P=0.001, Mann-Whitney U test). The Spearman's correlation between the JIF and the median online-to-print publication delay was not statistically significant. As to the Immediacy Index, a significant Spearman's correlation (rs=0.280, P=0.029) was found regarding the median online-to-print publication delays for journals published in 2014, although no statistically significant correlation was found for those published in 2013. Most journals examined (n=52 out of 61) published their articles in AOP. The analysis also showed different publisher practices: eight journals did not include the online posting dates in the full-text and nine journals published articles showing two different online posting dates--the date provided on the journal website and another provided by Elsevier's Science Direct. These practices suggest the need for transparency and standardization of the AOP dates of scientific articles for calculating bibliometric indicators for journals.



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