Introducing a new journal metric: the Objective Quality Factor (OQF)

July 16, 2020

I think we’ve all had enough of the Impact Factor as a way of measuring the quality of journals. From Ginny Barbour’s forensic account of negotiating PLoS Medicine’s IF back in 2006, via Stephen Curry’s measured rant back in 2012 (“if you use impact factors you are statistically illiterate”) and Björn Brembs’ survey of how very widespread IF negotations are in 2016, to all the recent negotiations with Clarivate about which journals should even have IFs, it’s become increasingly obvious that the Impact Factor is not a metric, it’s a negotiation.

And of course this means that the reason any journal has the particular IF it has is competely opaque.

The world needs a much more transparent metric of journal quality, and I am here to offer it! The Objective Quality Factor (QOF) is assigned in a wholly straightforward way that anyone can understand:

Your journal obtains an OQF of x by paying me x pounds.

That’s it. As soon as I acknowledge your payment, you have the right to display your OQF on the journal home page and in marketing materials.

If another journal in your field obtains a higher OQF than yours, and you need to regain your journal’s position at the top of the totem pole, all you need do is send me more money.

Payments via PayPal to ebay@miketaylor.org.uk please!

6 Responses to “Introducing a new journal metric: the Objective Quality Factor (OQF)”

  1. nemobis Says:

    Nice, but lacks any credibility because it only supports values with 2 decimal digits while the competitors have 3!

  2. Mike Taylor Says:

    Right, but mine goes to more significant digits!

  3. llewelly Says:

    I would have thought you would base your OQF on the length of the longest sauropod limb element published in the journal. : )

  4. Nathan Myers Says:

    You laugh, but that is the entire basis for the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, which used to need to be prominently displayed in all appliance and cleaning supplies ads in the US.

    But there was only one bit of precision: either you had it, or you didn’t. The price probably varied with revenue.

  5. Mike Taylor Says:

    Well, I’m not really laughing. My point is that the OQF tells you exactly as much about a journal’s quality as the IF does.

  6. Peter Dove Says:

    Just wait until the poor, starving lawyers at Objective Quality Quarterly hear about this!


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