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Association News
Evidence Is In: AJP Has Major Impact on Field
Psychiatric News
Volume 46 Number 15 page 15-15

The American Journal of Psychiatry (AJP) has an impact factor of 12.759, a rise from last year's 12.522 and a two-point rise from the previous year's 10.545, according to the recently released "Journal Citation Reports" for 2010, published by Thomson Reuters. AJP ranks second among 126 journals in psychiatry.

The impact factor has become the proxy determination of the relative worth of the research a journal publishes. It is a citation-to-article ratio, with the numerator representing the total number of citations to articles published in a two-year period, and the denominator being the total number of articles published in that two-year period.

Molecular Psychiatry ranks first with an impact factor exceeding 15. The Archives of General Psychiatry ranks third. No other psychiatric journal has an impact factor exceeding 10; the overwhelming majority (94.4 percent) of publications in the field of psychiatry have impact factors of 4 or less.

Of the more than 8,000 scientific, technical, and medical journals indexed by Thomson Reuters, AJP's latest impact factor places it in the top 100, at number 92.

AJP also ranks second on the immediacy index, which is the average number of times an article is cited in the year it is published. The index is an indicator of journals publishing in emerging areas of research.

Also, as it has for many years, AJP remains far and away the leader among psychiatric publications in total citations. Its 42,133 citations were about 7,600 citations above the next publication.

Why this is so is that the value of AJP's material has proven to be timeless—€”even ahead of its time—€”and is cited beyond the psychiatric or scientific press. An article in the July 9 New York Times titled "The Therapist Will See You Now, via the Web" discussed issues related to seeing patients over the Internet and cited an article from AJP that was almost 40 years old. Thomas Dwyer, M.D., a Massachusetts psychiatrist, wrote in the August 1973 issue that he had practiced "telepsychiatry," via video teleconferencing, for five years. Its "adoption by psychiatrists and patients," he predicted, "will proceed quickly if the organizers cope with the irrational responses of some users."

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