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In Medicine, an Impact Factor of a journal is important indicator (IF) of journal quality.

Are there examples of conference proceedings that have a formal IF figure computed?

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I sincerely hope not ;) –  Suresh Jan 14 '13 at 20:45
    
@Suresh - What do you mean by that? –  eykanal Jan 14 '13 at 21:24
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I'm sure he means exactly what I would have meant if he hadn't typed that. Impact factors are stupid. If you want to know whether a paper is good, read the paper. –  JeffE Jan 14 '13 at 22:15
    
What he said :) –  Suresh Jan 14 '13 at 22:26
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6 Answers 6

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Are there examples of conference proceedings that have a formal IF figure computed?

There is nothing like the "formal IF". What you are referring to is probably the Thomson Reuter's Journal Citation Reports impact factor which is one of the most respected measures in the academic world. As such, to my best knowledge there is no such thing for conferences.

However, there are other sources which could prove useful as an estimate of conference quality:

  • As already Charles Morisset pointed out, there are exist cached versions of Citeseer's estimated impact factors for computer science, but this is too old to be useful.
  • Furthermore, Google Scholar lists ranks of top venues mixing journals and conferences in their listings. Here is an example of top publications for AI, as you might see, there are several conferences mixed in. They list h-index of the venue instead of an impact factor.
  • Another very useful, resource for ranking conferences is Microsoft Academic Search, where you can find profiles of conferences, such as this one for IJCAI and they also publish rankings for different categories of venues, see an example here.
  • Finally, you might find useful the Australian Research Council's ERA conference rankings from 2010. In 2012 they decided not to rank conferences any more, but the 2010 list is still very useful and at least somewhat authoritative. They would rank conferences into categories according to their own quality metrics, which however (at least in my area) correlate with the community's perception.
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which is the measure in the academic world — This claim is simply false. The most important measure of impact of a scientific publication is the actual impact of that publication. Impact factors are for people who lack either the expertise or the guts to make informed quality judgements. –  JeffE Jan 14 '13 at 22:19
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@JeffE: yes, of course you are right. But whether we like it or not, we get measured by such metrics anyway. And Thomson's is the metrics used whenever somebody decides to rank our performance. But I edited the answer to somewhat please souls which are unhappy about these metrics anyway. –  walkmanyi Jan 14 '13 at 22:21
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...except in computer science. –  JeffE Jan 14 '13 at 22:23
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@JeffE: you should write "except in computer science in the USA". That would be more precise. In other countries the habits differ, somewhere they would develop their own metrics, somewhere they would use Thomson's measure also for compsci. See also my answer to this question. –  walkmanyi Jan 14 '13 at 22:26
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@JeffE: I could point to CS departments on which this kind of metrics is imposed by their faculty/university. Did you ever wonder why many mediocre journals publish so many papers prevalently of Chinese, Eastern-European, or African origin, while we don't see any of those results presented at conferences? This kind of policy is to blame. They get "points" for WoS tracked journal publications (even if 3rd tier, nobody cares), but a plain zero for a paper at even a very prestigious conference. –  walkmanyi Jan 15 '13 at 9:10
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Yes, the impact factor being usually the number of citations divided by the number of publications, it's possible to calculate the impact factor of conferences too. I know Citeseer used to keep a "Venue impact ranking" in Computer Science, but the link seems to be broken now. I found however a cached version from 2003 .

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Some years ago Thomson Reuters decided to drop Proceedings from their regular citation index list and start a separate proceedings index. This caused a lot of problems for journals that published papers from meetings but where the review procedure was as stringent as in a regular journal. I guess Thomson Reuters thinking was that proceedings would be lower quality in general. The solution to the problem for one particular journal (that did not have any wordings in its title that referred to proceedings) was to state in the journal "selected papers from the 'so-and-so' meeting". It would then pass as a proper journal.

I do not know how the proceedings index faired but obviosuly this meant that many journals were dropped from the index and they were thus not resulting in impact factors any more.

So from the point of Thomson Reuters, they wanted to separate possible lower quality proceedings journals from higher quality refereed journals and create a separate index for the proceedings. What the main reason for this was in unclear since it struck both higher and lower quality journals without distinction.

(I must admit I feel awkward using high and low quality in this reply but think of it as a relative term)

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As I just came across this questions. I think walkmanyi already came up with a nice overview. However, I realized that the SCImago Journal Rank indicator was not mentioned so far. According to Wikipedia SCImago uses the same formula as that for the calculation of the Thomson Reuters impact factor. SCImago also features many conferences.

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hye PPl! Excellent blog , Actually conference proceedings have no IMPACT factor . If you are still aint buying it then read the link below http://conferenceseries.iop.org/content/quick_links/Policy%20on%20Impact%20Factor

Policy on Impact Factor Under current policy, Thompson Reuters (the owners of ISI Web of Science) do not calculate Impact Factors for ANY proceedings titles. Therefore, proceedings journals are not issued with Impact Factors. hope it clears the ambiguity

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At the moment, there are 56 proceedings-journals which have an Impact Factor according to the only source of Impact factors, the Journal Citation Reports (Thompson Reuters). These journals have the word proceedings in their title, and presumably concern conference proceedings.

Later edit: This list is just a suggestion which might help to gather some additional information. The titles have not been checked they really are Conference Proceedings.

-   ALLERGY ASTHMA PROC
-   ASLIB PROC
-   J INVEST DERM SYMP P
-   MATH PROC CAMBRIDGE
-   MAYO CLIN PROC
-   P ACAD NAT SCI PHILA
-   P AM MATH SOC
-   P BIOL SOC WASH
-   P COMBUST INST
-   P EDINBURGH MATH SOC
-   P ENTOMOL SOC WASH
-   P EST ACAD SCI
-   P GEOLOGIST ASSOC
-   P I CIVIL ENG-CIV EN
-   P I CIVIL ENG-ENG SU
-   P I CIVIL ENG-GEOTEC
-   P I CIVIL ENG-MAR EN
-   P I CIVIL ENG-MUNIC
-   P I CIVIL ENG-STR B
-   P I CIVIL ENG-TRANSP
-   P I CIVIL ENG-WAT M
-   P I MECH ENG A-J POW
-   P I MECH ENG B-J ENG
-   P I MECH ENG C-J MEC
-   P I MECH ENG D-J AUT
-   P I MECH ENG E-J PRO
-   P I MECH ENG F-J RAI
-   P I MECH ENG G-J AER
-   P I MECH ENG H
-   P I MECH ENG I-J SYS
-   P I MECH ENG J-J ENG
-   P I MECH ENG K-J MUL
-   P I MECH ENG L-J MAT
-   P I MECH ENG M-J ENG
-   P I MECH ENG O-J RIS
-   P I MECH ENG P-J SPO
-   P IEEE
-   P INDIAN AS-MATH SCI
-   P JPN ACAD A-MATH
-   P JPN ACAD B-PHYS
-   P LOND MATH SOC
-   P NATL A SCI INDIA A
-   P NATL A SCI INDIA B
-   P NATL ACAD SCI USA
-   P NUTR SOC
-   P ROMANIAN ACAD A
-   P ROY SOC A-MATH PHY
-   P ROY SOC B-BIOL SCI
-   P ROY SOC EDINB A
-   P STEKLOV I MATH+
-   P YORKS GEOL SOC
-   SADHANA-ACAD P ENG S
-   TRANSPL P
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Your answer seems to me factually incorrect and based on the assumption that the word "proceedings" in the journal tile means conference proceedings. This is not true in general. I checked some of the listed entries and those I checked, e.g., Allergy and Asthma Proceedings, as well as Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society are proper journals not conference proceedings. Therefore -1 and you should consider a fact-check plus a revision of your answer. –  walkmanyi Jan 15 '13 at 12:25
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