Abstract

Use of the Impact Factor is currently being discarded in industrialized countries where, to name one case, up to 40% of the articles published in Nature are never cited, despite the high Impact Factor of that journal.

However, it is still used in Latin America to evaluate journals and authors, potentially influencing who are given positions and who receives funding. To find out how valid the Impact Factor is for Latin American research, I used the database BINABITROP to see how much of the relevant literature was used to measure impact. I found that the Science Citation Index (SCI) excluded 96% of the relevant literature when measuring the impact of biological articles about Costa Rica for the studied year (2011). Therefore, the impact of Latin American science is unknown and the Impact Factor should not be used to assess how often a journal, institution or author are cited.

Keywords: Latin American science, Impact Factor, BINABITROP, scientific citation