The Society’s journal, the Journal of the Intensive Care Society, has achieved the milestone of a PubMed listing.  Jeremy Groves considers the background and implications of the decision

The Journal of the Intensive Care Society (JICS) has always had a bit of a place in my heart.  Not only has it published a couple of my articles (astute, discerning editors) but it is readable too.  The format is light and airy, it has a wide variety of papers and individuals from all the disciplines within our speciality contribute.

I understand that, in the academic world, there has been a reluctance to publish articles in JICS because it does not have an ‘impact factor’.  Impact factor is a calculation based on the number of times an average article in a journal is cited in a given year and, for the funding bodies and universities, is king.  If the academics are to get their next grant they need to demonstrate publishing prowess and this is measured by research output with publication in journals with high impact factors playing a major role.

quote2in the academic world, there has been a reluctance to publish articles in JICS because to date it hasn’t had a calculated impact factor

I find this rather distressing.  The ICS supports, through the Intensive Care Foundation, a significant amount of research into intensive care.  Yet the research output is published elsewhere.  So how do you get an impact factor?  The answer is to seek a PubMed listing.

I remember while as a student in the 1980s spending hours in the 19th century library at St Bartholomew’s hospital squinting my way through index medicus to track down the latest research.  Not only was it hard work but the tomes were so heavy I suspect I have a claim against the National Institute for Health (NIH) for my hernia!  Today it’s much easier.  Index medicus has been superseded by Medline, and is accessed via the web though PubMed; type something into it, and the answer’s there.

PubMed is a significant repository with over 27 million references, most of which come from Medline.  It links to PubMed Central, a free archive for full text articles on publishers’ websites.  Medline is the US National Library of Medicine’s citation database with articles dating back to the 1940s.  Now Medline don’t just chose any journal to reference.  In order to be listed there are strict criteria policed by the Literature Selection Technical Review Committee.  This committee considers scientific content, originality and importance of a journal for a global audience.  It’s a major milestone, and a great honour, for a Journal to be listed and is likely to increase a Journals global reach and the research published therein.

quote2the Journal of the Intensive Care Society, had finally achieved full listing on PubMed

It was thus with great pleasure that the Intensive Care Society learnt last month that it’s Journal, the Journal of the Intensive Care Society, has finally achieved full listing on PubMed ( Congratulations to the editor-in-chief, Jonathan Handy, and publishers, Sage, for getting the journal to this place.

JICS is already is a major ‘product’ for the Society’s members.  The PubMed listing should widen the readership and result in that all important impact factor.  I personally look forward to more of the Society’s sponsored research, as well as larger research studies, appearing in its pages as a result.

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One of the many benefits of joining the Intensive Care Society is a subscription to JICS.