What is the Y-Factor?
- Another way to rank and rate journals
What does it mean?
- It is a combination of both the traditional Impact Factor and the weighted PageRank measure
for the "average article" in a journal
Abstract (from the original publication)
The status of an actor in a social context is commonly defined in terms of two factors: the total number of
endorsements the actor receives from other actors and the prestige of the endorsing actors. These two factors
indicate the distinction between popularity and expert appreciation of the actor, respectively. We refer to the
former as popularity and to the latter as prestige. These notions of popularity and prestige also apply to the
domain of scholarly assessment. The ISI Impact Factor (ISI IF) is defined as the mean number of citations
a journal receives over a 2 year period. By merely counting the amount of citations and disregarding the
prestige of the citing journals, the ISI IF is a metric of popularity, not of prestige. We demonstrate how a
weighted version of the popular PageRank algorithm can be used to obtain a metric that reflects prestige. We
contrast the rankings of journals according to their ISI IF and their weighted PageRank, and we provide an
analysis that reveals both significant overlaps and differences. Furthermore, we introduce the Y-factor which is
a simple combination of both the ISI IF and the weighted PageRank, and find that the resulting journal rankings
correspond well to a general understanding of journal status.
What does this paper propose?
This paper addresses what is becoming a global discussion on scholarly communication and assessment. The
Impact Factor lies at the basis of the assessment of the status of scholars, research departments, universities and
even countries. This paper suggests that PageRank should be considered to evaluate the prestige factor of
manuscript. PageRank metric differs in a meaningful manner from the Impact Factor. PageRank metric will
eventually change our perception of status as it will be the manner in which scholarly search results
will be ranked by Google, Google Scholar and its competitors. Thus, the authors have introduced a ranking of
journals according to a product of the Impact Factor and the Weighted PageRank. The intuitive and simplistic
definition of the Y-factor rankings may not be scientifically convincing and it probably needs more work, but it
underscores the need for scientists, especially younger and more internet-savvy investigators, to consider the
impact of web-based resources on their future research and career.
Popular Journals are journals that are cited frequently by journals with little prestige. These journals have a very
high ISI IF and a very low Weighted PageRank.
Prestigious Journals are journals that are not frequently cited, but their citations come from highly prestigious
journals. These journals have a very low ISI IF and a very high Weighted PageRank.
Consider PageRank as
another means to judge
PageRank is an internet
usage assessment tool
We read an increasing
number of electronic