The article on bibliometrics, Making an impact: research, publications and bibilometrics in the BJGP, delves into the often bewildering world of bibliometric indices. The 2010 Impact Factor (IF) for the BJGP is 2.070 so it holds its position as the second most highly-cited journal of general practice and primary health care. Some GPs might wonder about the value of this but it highlights some important issues about the BJGP and its purpose. If you think the journal is simply for British GPs and it is essentially an RCGP mouthpiece then I think you are in for a disappointment.
I suspect that the majority of non-academic GPs would prefer an accessible, educational BJGP than one that was striving for the highest possible impact factor. The new publishing strategy of paper short:web long certainly helps the editor achieve this balance. Rob Atenstaedt’s article, Word cloud analysis of the BJGP, was also published this month (click on the frontcover image to see it in more detail). This was an analysis, using Wordle, of the entire 2011 content of the BJGP – some 600,000 words. Interestingly, Atenstaedt noted that the word ‘education’ was completely missing from the 100 words used in the BJGP’s word cloud. He also suggested that, if anything, the inclusion of words such as NHS, UK and London, suggested that the BJGP wasn’t meeting its stated objective of being an international journal.
The increasing use of web technology is likely to have a major impact on the way in which scientific research is published and accessed in the future.
The future is
garlic bread open access and post-publication review – both fundamentally about web access, but at the moment the BJGP has very little in the way of a web presence. (Currently a Google search for the BJGP brings my website up as the fourth highest – and it was only three weeks since I started this site.) There are no blogs, the ‘Discussion Forum’ section of the BJGP is behind a paywall on the dismal RCGP site, and lacks any real facility to engage. It is struggling to shake off the impression it is a dumping ground for letters that don’t make the print version. The average spam pornbot on Twitter has more followers than @BJGPjournal.
A BJGP web presence that presented and discussed papers could have considerable appeal to the majority of GPs. Articles could be boiled down to their pragmatic clinical residue, providing much needed educational value, and it wouldn’t do any harm to the journals overall academic aims either.
Jones, R., Green, E., Hull, C., Niesner, E., & Schofield, P. (2012). Making an impact: research, publications, and bibliometrics in the BJGP British Journal of General Practice, 62 (596), 157-159 DOI: 10.3399/bjgp12X630214
Atenstaedt, R. (2012). Word cloud analysis of the BJGP British Journal of General Practice, 62 (596), 148-148 DOI: 10.3399/bjgp12X630142Read More