Saturday, June 20, 2009

Open Access journal JMIR rises to top of its discipline

I am still shaken and thrilled by yesterdays' big news: The Open Access publication Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR), which I created 10 years ago, has now established itself as THE leading peer-reviewed journal in the field of ehealth, or as I prefer to put it, for "health and health care in the Internet age". Yesterday, on June 19th, 2009, the Impact Factor rankings for 2008 were published by Thomson Reuters (Impact Factors are the most important metric for the influence of a journal, reflecting the average number of citations to recent articles). The Impact Factor for JMIR in 2008 is now an amazing 3.6 (up from 3.0 last year, and 2.9 the year before). This has to be seen against the background that medical informatics journals are typically not cited very well and have typical impact factors between 1-2.
Perhaps the biggest news due to its high symbolic value is that JMIR is now the top, number one ranked journal in its discipline, and has finally officially overtaken JAMIA, the official Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (2008 IF 3.4), which has been on the #1 spot in this discipline for decades. For a small, independent, low-budget journal this is a major achievement and truly a David vs Goliath situation. AMIA is probably the most influential scientific society in the medical informatics field, and its journal JAMIA enjoys significant backing by the association. JAMIA is owned and published by Elsevier. I may be wrong on this (leave a comment!), but to my knowledge this is the first time in history that an independent Open Access journal takes the top spot in its discipline, overtaking the long-term top journal in a JCR (Journal Citation Reports) category. I am surprised by this myself - I would have never thought that JMIR could overtake the venerable JAMIA in terms of impact. I know that the Impact Factor has its problems as a metric, but Impact Factors continue to be a valuable measure of a journal’s quality for authors, librarians and societies, and the high impact of JMIR sends a clear message to traditional publishers as well as to societies in terms of what Open Access publishing means for impact.
JMIR is now ranked the top (#1) journal in the medical informatics category (out of 20 journals), and second (#2) in the health sciences & services category (out of 62 journals), by Impact Factor.

For further information see

I want to thank all readers, supporters, authors, reviewers, and editors for their support and/or editorial work they've put into the journal.

The new top position in the field means that we will be getting even more submissions, and that I will require even more help. I thank particularly those who have taken on "associate editor / section editor" responsibilities, actively guiding papers through the peer-review process (published JMIR papers acknowledge the section editor at the bottom of each article).

JMIR is continously seeking more academic section editors. Please contact me if know of any individuals who might be willing to take on editorial responsibilities. For those health informatics researchers at Medinfo2010 in South-Africa next year, we will be holding an editorial board meeting to discuss strategic issues.

For those prospective authors considering to submit a paper to JMIR due to its high impact, I urge you to make the Impact Factor not the sole and driving factor for submitting a paper to us. Our aim is to be selective in what we publish and - as a general rule - we will not consider highly technical, but only those with a considerable impact ("BMJ quality"). Our focus remains on topics related to patient empowerment through ICT (information and communication technologies) and web-based approaches, although mhealth and ubiquitous computing applications are also within scope. We also focus on patient/consumer-centered, participatory approaches, innovative methods, and applications with public health impact, as opposed to hospital information systems and traditional medical/clinical informatics. If your research falls into these categories, or if you plan a review or opinion paper in these fields, then we welcome your submission.

Best wishes

Gunther Eysenbach
Editor/Publisher, J Med Internet Res (JMIR)


Heather Morrison said...


Lodewijk Bos said...

Lodewijk Bos, ICMCC

Francisco J Grajales III said...

Congratulations Gunther,
I have a feeling it will continue to grow and amaze you in impact.
Looking forward to seeing you at Med 2.

Tom van de Belt said...

Congratulations from The Netherlands!

Tom van de Belt,
Emergency Healthcare Network

Francisco Lupiáñez-Villanueva said...

Congratulations! It's also big step for the Open Access movement

Luis said...

Congratulations! It is a very good news for the eHealth/Medicine 2.0 community!

Bill Hooker said...


Mustafa Al-Durra said...

Congradulations from Germany!