Our 2019 Impact Factor: Now We are Seven

A bottle of cleaning fluid. Not JIF

Not an Impact Factor

Last week a few things happened in the world of science. One was the publication of the Journal Impact Factors (JIFs)… Followed by journals saying how wonderful their JIF is… And then everyone else saying how awful impact factors are.

Methods in Ecology and Evolution is a journal, so naturally we’re obliged to take journal point of view. Which means we need to get really excited about how amazing impact factors are1. Even though we know we shouldn’t, we are really really excited to say that our impact factor for 2018 is…


Last year it was a lowly 6.3. This increase is great, especially as we are still in the top 10 of Ecology journals (at no. 9, having risen to be a massive 0.05 above Molecular Ecology Resources). If we were listed in Evolution, we would be at number 7. And if we were a biology journal, we would be at number 5. There’s evidently not a lot of biology going on nowadays.

1 unless of course our impact factor decreases

The Methods in Ecology and Evolution 5th Anniversary Impact Factor

Thomson-Reuters have just released this year’s Impact Factors. The Methods in Ecology and Evolution Impact Factor is now an astounding 6.554, up from a truly dismal 5.322 last year. We now have enough years of Impact Factors to make it worthwhile drawing a graph.


The Methods in Ecology and Evolution Impact Factor goes up and up (…except when it doesn’t).

This puts us ninth in Ecology, and we would be fifth in Evolutionary Biology if Thomson-Reuters thought we published stuff in Evolutionary Biology. We would also be top in Statistics and Substance Abuse if we could get ourselves into either of those categories. Continue reading

Our New Impact Factor (or why the five year impact factor is much much much more important)

Yesterday Thomson-Reuters finally released their impact factors for 2013. And ours is …


Which has gone down by 0.602 from last year. This also means we’ve moved down to 15th in the Ecology rankings. And what is worse is that the Journal of Ecology has overtaken us!

Impact factors are notorious for only covering 2 years of citations, which is not a long time in ecology. Our five year impact factor is 6.587, which puts us 9th in ecology, and ABOVE JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY. This is only from 4 years of publication of MEE, so we’re even giving everyone else a head start.

What can we conclude from this? Clearly, the 2 year impact factor is not adequately capturing the performance of ecological journals and the 5 year impact factor is a far, far superior measure of performance. Anyone who suggests differently must be in the pay of Big-JIF.

Alternatively, it suggests that we are still doing well as a journal: our papers are getting cited, and presumably read (but see Know-Thine-Own-Self Results). Having good metrics like the (5-year) impact factor is nice, but these are a reflection of quality, not the quality itself. There is more than one way that research can have an impact, which is why we are happy to continue to have Altmetric scores on all of our papers.

Accessing Methods in 2012

It’s been two years since the British Ecological Society and Wiley-Blackwell launched Methods in Ecology and Evolution, and the journal has got off to a fantastic start. Tremendous interest in the Society’s youngest publication, and an abundance of high-quality submissions, have led to its switch from quarterly to bi-monthly publication. Authors have proven quick to embrace the use of online technologies to improve the uptake of their new and innovative methodologies, contributing tutorials, source codes and datasets and collaborating with the Methods editorial office for the production of engaging and accessible videos and podcasts. And in February, ISI announced that they would begin indexing Methods’ citations, putting it on track to receive an early impact factor.

For its first year of publication, Methods was made freely available online, while this year libraries have been able to opt-in to receive free, institution-wide access in perpetuity to the first two volumes of the journal and BES members have enjoyed free individual access. However, from January 2012 onwards, Methods will join the four other Society journals and be available on a subscription basis only. BES members will be able to access reduced-rate individual subscriptions.

Methods will still be made available to institutions in developing countries, through the AGORA, OARE and INASP philanthropic initiatives, and the journal will still be able to support authors keen to make their work even more widely available through Open Access publishing. The journal will also be continuing to provide free access to its Application papers – concise, practical descriptions of new software, equipment or other tools. And, of course, our videos, podcasts, and other enhancements designed to encourage and promote the easy dissemination of new advancements will also still be freely available to help promote and drive the development of new methods in ecology and evolution.

MEE now to be found on ISI Web of Knowledge

Just a quick post to highlight that Methods in Ecology and Evolution is starting to be indexed on the Web of Knowledge, with 3 of our issues included  for the first time this week in the online database. This is great news: it will make our papers visible to a wide audience and eventually we will get an impact factor. We are already getting lots of downloads, and citation figures from Google Scholar indicate that our papers are being read and used. So hopefully inclusion on WoK will add further to our progress.

Volume 2 Issue 1: Now online

We launched Methods in Ecology in Evolution because we thought that there was a huge demand for methods papers: those doing science need to be kept up to date on new approaches, and those developing new methods need a place to publish, as well as be supported in getting their methods used. Our first volume has exceeded all expectations and we are really pleased to announce that the first issue of volume 2 is online on time and is full of a diverse range top quality papers.

The range of papers in this new issue is extra-ordinary – the scope includes everything from statistics, to energetic modelling and stable isotope methods. The applications of the methods are as varied as measuring food web dynamics, uncovering the drivers of farmland bird declines and the use of phylogenetic methods for reconstructing the history of the molluscs.

One of our big aims is to promote the uptake of methods. On our video and podcast page, we have support for the papers in this issue, including :

In fact almost all of the papers in this issue are supported by either a podcast, a videocast or online supplements. These latter include the user manual explaining how to used the WaderMorph modelling software, amongst others.

This issue contains an important “application” paper: Thomas Etherington gives an outline of the tools he has developed for visualising genetic relatedness in landscape genetics. Look out for more of these, describing the latest software tools, on our Early View page.

We are pleased to see that our papers are beginning to be used: the 10 papers published just a year ago in issue 1 have been cited (according to Google Scholar) a total of 34 times in the first twelve months since publication, i.e. an average of 3.4 times per paper. This is fantastic – for comparison, a journal wilth a Thomson ISI© Impact Factor of 3.4 receives an average of 3.4 citations per paper in the two years following the year of publication.  This is hopefully an indication of good things to come!