In one of my previous rantings (Click here), I wrote about how journals publish reviews to improve their impact factor. Now, in the recent issue of Nature Immunology (Click here for link), the editorial acquiesces:
“Because they are highly cited (on average, a review article is cited almost twice as often as a research paper), they help boost the impact factor of the journal.”
What the editorial does not mention is the trend that some glossy journals have adopted to publish special issues that predominantly contain reviews.
It also does not take into account the harm done by ‘expert reviews’ where an interpretation or speculation by an expert is perpetuated in the scientific literature as scientific facts. However, I would agree that scientists are responsible for testing the veracity of these ‘facts’, not the journals.