Conservation Letters citation statistics

15 07 2010

As most CB readers will know, the ‘new’ (as of 2008) conservation journal kid on the block that I co-edit, Conservation Letters, was ISI-listed this year. This allows us to examine our citation statistics and make some informed guesses about the journal’s Impact Factor that should be ascribed next year. Here are some stats:

  • We published 31 articles in 5 issues in 2008, 37 articles in 6 issues in 2009, and so far 24 articles in 3 issues in 2010
  • Most authors were from the USA (53), followed by Australia (28), UK (29), Canada (10), France (7) and South Africa (4)
  • The published articles have received a total of 248 citations, with an average citation rate per article of 2.70
  • The journal’s h-index = 8 (8 articles have been cited at least 8 times)
  • The 31 articles published in 2008 have received thus far 180 citations (average of 5.81 citations per article)
  • The top 10 most cited articles are (in descending order):

1. Is oil palm agriculture really destroying tropical biodiversity? (34)

2. REDD in the red: palm oil could undermine carbon payment schemes (14)

3. Conservation action in a changing climate (14)

4. Carbon payments as a safeguard for threatened tropical mammals (13)

5. Novel methods for the design and evaluation of marine protected areas in offshore waters (11)

6. Toward monitoring global biodiversity (10)

7. Predicting susceptibility to future declines in the world’s frogs (9)

8. Effectiveness of marine reserve networks in representing biodiversity and minimizing impact to fishermen: a comparison of two approaches used in California (8)

9. Diminishing return on investment for biodiversity data in conservation planning (8)

10. Quiet, nonconsumptive recreation reduces protected area effectiveness (8)

To project some sort of expected Impact Factor, we can look at a few ‘minimum’ scenarios. An Impact Factor is calculated as the number of citations accumulated in Year i+2 for articles published in Years i and i+1, divided by the number of citable articles published in Years i and i+1. So far there are 143 citations in 2010 for 68 articles published in 2008 & 2009, giving a ratio of 2.103.

Obviously more citations will occur in 2010, and there are questions about what actually constitutes a ‘citable work’, so the true Impact Factor will be > 2.103. If we use the citation rate in 2009 for 2008 articles, it works out to be around 2.7/article. This means we can expect a minimum total number of citations in 2010 for 2008 & 2009 articles of about 180 (it should be more than this), so the a minimum Impact Factor would be in the vicinity of 2.6 to 3.0. I therefore predict an inaugural Impact Factor > 3.0 for 2010 (due out in June 2011).

This is all pure speculation, mind, but it gives us a rough idea.

CJA Bradshaw

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10 responses

29 06 2011
2010 ISI Impact Factors out now (with some surprises) «

[…] I was Senior Editor with Conservation Letters from 2008-2010, and I (with other editorial staff) made some predictions about where the journal’s first impact factor might be on the scale (see also here). Well, I have to say the result exceeded my expectations (although […]


21 12 2010
Leaving Conservation Letters «

[…] 3 volumes and 17 issues, and a very good prospect for an ISI Impact Factor > 3.0 coming out in June 2011, I feel that I’ve contributed sufficiently for the journal to persist in the […]


18 11 2010
Sobre la Producción Científica Española, Su Calidad y La Fiabilidad de las Revistas de Impacto

[…] Factor de Impacto. Fuente: […]


3 08 2010
August issue of Conservation Letters and more citation statistics «

[…] is growing). As mentioned not too long ago, Conservation Letters was ISI-listed this year and will probably pick up a > 3 Impact Factor in June […]


15 07 2010
Clem Weidenbenner

If you care to carry your speculation a bit farther, what are the circulation stats up to? If circulation is growing one could imagine that citation rates might increase along with them (with a lag). If circulation is flat then your present pretdictions seem appropriate.

Also, given current environmental news (read BP in the Gulf of Mexico) an article like Leathwick et al. could garner additional attention. And there is also a snowball phenonmenon one could imagine. As more folks become aware of the journal there are more eyes on the papers and more opportunity for their citation.


15 07 2010

All good and valid points. This is why I said ‘minimum’. I suspect the citation rate will increase, as you stipulate.


15 07 2010
Barry Brook

Not pure speculation, evidence-based speculation. I think you’ll be about right. My bet is 2.92. A beer shout for whoever is closer!


15 07 2010

I stand corrected. Some numbers supporting my prediction (isn’t that what we do every day, Barry?). You’re on: I predict > 3, you predict just < 3.


20 10 2010
E Silva

You already lost… If the impact factor was calculated today, Conservation Letters would score 3.04 (207 citations for 68 articles)… so I would guess that the 2010 impact factor will be somewhere between 3.5 and 4.0.


22 10 2010

Well, great! I hope you’re right.


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