Happy 5th birthday, DNA Repair

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  • dna repa ir 6 ( 2 0 0 7 ) 271273

    avai lab le at www.sc iencedi rec t .com

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    Editoria

    Happy

    This monthcurrent foris the journscientic jonity of scieand sincereall readerssee the emcutting-edgcal responsin this goal

    Notwithtaries to thtions and eunder the mas crediblehavegoneotention [1],to rise stea

    It is mytic journaand scientipursued anaugmentedmetric of awith the vHopefully, dto the journfor the eval

    In this exercise, I examined approximately 300 articles pub-lished between 2004 and 2006 in each of four journals: DNARepair, Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB), Current Biology andMolecular Cell. I selected this particular trio of journals to com-pare to DNAsphere of iumented 2continuumMol. Cell=1the namecles and dauthor we

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    bjectglance at table indicates consistency for any single param-eter when comparing the three years surveyed (20042006).The table reveals several features that merit attention. Forone thing, I was (pleasantly) surprised to discover that wellRepair because they embrace essentially the samenterest (molecular biology) and because the doc-005 IF for these four journals span a convenient(DNA Repair=5.016; MCB=7.093; Curr. Biol.=11.732;4.971). Using the Google Scholar web site, I enteredof the senior author of each of the 1200 arti-etermined how many other publications by thisre cited either >50 times or >100 times. (Arti-

    over 60% of the senior authors who published in DNA Repairduring the period mentioned have been cited in the scien-tic literature >50 times, and that as many as 50% of theseauthors have been cited >100 times. A consistently greaterproportion of senior authors identied from the three otherjournals (MCB, Current Biology andMolecular Cell) were cited >50or >100 times. But the differences between these three jour-nals collectively andDNA Repair are not as large as I intuitivelyjourna l homepage: www.e lsev ier .c

    l

    5th birthday, DNA Repair

    DNA Repair begins its 6th year of publication in itsmat. This factoid begs the rhetorical question(s):al fullling its intended purpose? Is it a rst rateurnal? Opinions likely differ among the commu-ntists that the journal serves and I enthusiasticallyly invite comments and suggestions from any andon this topic. My own hope was (and still is) toergence of a high quality publication dedicated toe research and scholarship in the eld of biologi-es to DNA damage. How well have we succeeded?standing many thoughtful published commen-e contrary, publishing houses, academic institu-ven national governing bodies continue to operateisguided contention that impact factors (IF) serve

    objective indicators of a journals academicworth. In recordas emphatically disagreeingwith this con-despite the fact that the IF forDNARepair continuesdily.contention that the intellectual worth of a scien-l is reected by (among other variables) the qualityc reputation of its contributing authors. I recentlyexercise that I hope will be sufciently rened and(by others) that it becomes accepted as a usefuljournals academic impact. Readers may disagreealidity of the basic assumptions of this exercise.iffering opinionswill spark robust correspondenceal to the ultimate benet of an improved systemuation of scientic journals.

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    100 times were not included in the >50 citations

    he bench marks of >50 and >100 citations werehosen, I recall reading somewhere that an articleliterature more than 10 times has denite schol-and I assume that few would argue that >50 and100 citations for any scientic article indicates antial contribution to the literature (see later). Thisis readily accessible from the Google Scholarweb-I should warn anyone interested in duplicating orhis exercise that manually counting articles pub-00 authors that have been cited >50 and >100 timesnsive!ifying senior authors in order to track their cita-iously recovered many in which the individual inas not always the senior author. Thus, for example,thor John (or Jane) Doewas once a post-doctoral fel-ghly visible laboratory and was the rst or even ahor on one or more highly cited publications in thepublicationswere included in the total, since, tomyreect John (or Jane) Does overall citation visibility.ommon names (such as J. Smith, or Y. Chen) wereto avoid inaccurate identications. Review articlesesearch publications were included in the analysis.ors who published more than one article in anyjournals analyzed received multiple independent

    lts of this exercise are presented in Table 1. I didthese numbers to statistical analysis. However, a

  • 272 dna repa ir 6 ( 2 0 0 7 ) 271273

    Table 1 Analysis of citation frequency of other articles by authors who published in selected molecular biologicaljournals during 20042006

    DNA Repair MCB Curr. Biol. Mol. Cell

    >100 CitationsAll occasions

    2004 54110 (49.1) 78100 (78) 71100 (71) 88100 (88)2005 54106 (50.9) 68100 (68) 65100 (65) 80100 (80)2006 53110 (48.2) 74100 (74) 74100 (74) 91110 (91)

    Total 161326 (49.3) 220300 (73) 211300 (70.3) 259310 (83.5)

    15 Occasions2004 3854 (70.1) 4678 (59.0) 4671 (53.9) 5288 (59.1)2005 4054 (74.1) 4668 (67.6) 3965 (60.0) 4380 (53.8)2006 3653 (67.9) 4974 (66.2) 5074 (67.6) 5591 (60.4)

    Total 114161 (70.8) 143220 (65.0) 135210 (64.3) 150259 (57.9)

    610 Occasions2004 954 (16.7) 1278 (15.4) 1671 (22.5) 1688 (18.2)2005 554 (9.3) 1168 (16.1) 1665 (24.6) 1880 (22.5)2006 953 (17.0) 1674 (21.6) 1674 (21.6) 1591 (16.5)

    Total 23161 (14.3) 39220 (17.7) 48210 (22.8) 49259 (18.9)

    1115 Occasions2004 554 (9.3) 678 (7.7) 571 (7.0) 1288 (13.6)2005 854 (14.8) 468 (5.9) 365 (4.6) 980 (11.3)2006 853 (15.1) 574 (6.8) 574 (6.7) 891 (8.8)

    Total 21160 (13.8) 14220 (6.4) 13210 (6.2) 22259 (11.2)

    >16 Occasions2004 2108 (1.9) 14156 (8.9) 4142 (2.8) 8176 (4.5)2005 1108 (0.9) 7136 (5.1) 7130 (5.4) 10160 (6.3)2006 0106 (0.0) 4148 (2.7) 3148 (2.0) 13182 (7.1)

    Total 3322 (0.9) 25440 (5.7) 14420 (3.3) 31518 (6.0)

    >50 CitationsAll occasions

    2004 73110 (66.4) 81100 (81) 80100 (80) 88100 (86)2005 74106 (69.8) 84100 (84) 82100 (82) 86100 (86)2006 73110 (66.3) 87100 (87) 81100 (81) 98100 (98)

    Total 220326 (67.5) 252300 (84) 243300 (81.0) 272300 (90.6)

    15 Occasions2004 4673 (63.0) 4481 (54.3) 5080 (62.5) 4788 (53.4)2005 5174 (68.9) 5384 (63.1) 4686 (53.5) 5082 (60.1)2006 4773 (64.4) 5887 (66.6) 5181 (63.0) 5098 (51.0)

    Total 144220 (65.5) 155252 (62.0) 151243 (62.1) 143272 (52.5)

    610 Occasions2004 1473 (19.2) 1681 (19.0) 2080 (25.0) 2288 (25.0)2005 1174 (14.9) 2084 (23.8) 2082 (24.4) 1586 (17.4)2006 1473 (19.1) 1987 (21.8) 1781 (21.0) 2998 (29.6)

    Total 39220 (17.7) 55252 (21.8) 57243 (23.5) 66272 (24.2)

    1115 Occasions2004 973 (12.3) 1081 (12.3) 680 (7.5) 988 (10.2)2005 1174 (14.9) 384 (3.6) 382 (3.7) 1486 (16.3)2006 773 (9.6) 487 (4.7) 781 (8.6) 898 (8.1)

    Total 27220 (12.3) 17252 (6.7) 16243 (6.6) 32272 (11.8)

    >16 Occasions2004 3146 (2.1) 11162 (6.8) 4160 (2.5) 10176 (5.7)2005 2148 (1.4) 8168 (4.8) 7164 (4.3) 11172 (6.4)2006 5146 (3.4) 6174 (3.4) 6162 (3.7) 6196 (3.1)

    Total 10440 (2.3) 25504 (4.9) 17486 (3.5) 27544 (5.0)

    Values within the parentheses in percent.

  • dna repa ir 6 ( 2 0 0 7 ) 271273 273

    anticipated, given the specialized niche that DNA Repair occu-pies. Strikingly, the three other journals differed little amongthemselves. So, for example, 84% of senior authors who pub-lished in MCB were cited >50 times, a value close to the 81%identied in Current Biology and the 90.6% identied in Molec-ular Cell. This observation begs the question; absent impactfactors, how do these three journals really compare?

    Authors cited >50 or >100 times were divided into subcat-egories based on the frequency of these citations, i.e., articlescited on 15 occasions, 610 occasions, 1115 occasions ormore than 16 occasions. Two further salient observationsemerged from this nuance. One is that for all four journalsanalyzed there is a steep drop in author citation frequencybetween the category cited 15 times to the category cited610 times. Indeed, when considering the subcategories of>50 or >100 citations on 16 or more occasions, only 0.96% ofthe 1200 authors identied in the entire study shared this dis-tinction. I suggest that these observations validate the relativerarity and hence the merit (at least in the eld of molecularbiology) of any article being cited on >50 or >100 occasions.

    It is obviously impossible to determinewhether the numer-ical differences between DNA Repair and the other threemolecular biological journals presented in table reect scien-tic merit that is intrinsic to highly cited authors themselves,to the specic topics on which they have published, or to thegeneral visibility of the elds they work in. One presumes thatall three factors contribute.

    Hopefully, this admittedly limited analysis will help dis-pel some of the myths that surround the extensive abuse andmisuse offor three ofcannot be o5.01, respec

    an expanded data set can reconcile the two methods of com-parison. Regardless, DNA Repair appears to be a respectablejournal in which to publish, reecting both the progressiveexpansion of the eld of biological responses to DNA damage,and the high quality of the scientists who are studying thiseld and contributing their results to the journal. Investiga-tors evaluating the merits (or demerits) of publishing originalresearch in DNA Repair may want to reect on the informationgleaned from this study rather than paying blind lip service toIF.

    Finally, I thank the Associate Editors and members of theEditorial Board of DNA Repair, as well as members of the staffof Elsevier, for the enormous contributions they have madetoward promoting the success of the journal over the past 5years.

    r e f e r e n c e

    [1] E.C. Friedberg, The rst comprehensive impact factor for DNARepair, DNA Repair 5 (2006) 873874.

    Editor-in-ChiefErrol C. Friedberg

    Lab of Molecular Pathology, Department of Pathology, Dallas,TX75390 9072, United States

    Tel.: +1 214 648 4020; fax: +1 214 648 4067.E-mail address: errol.friedberg@utsouthwestern.eduIF. Certainly, a comparison of the data presentedthe journals (Molecular Cell, MCB and DNA Repair)bviously reconciled with 2005 IF of 14.97, 7.09 andtively. Perhaps more sophisticated analyses using1568-7864/$ see front matter 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

    doi:10.1016/j.dnarep.2006.12.005Published on line 18 January 2007

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