Important note to all authors of Methods of Information in Medicine and Applied Clinical Informatics

Until now, Thomson Reuters unfortunately has not revised their decision to suppress the journals Methods of Information in Medicine and Applied Clinical Informatics from this year`s Journal Citation Report (JCR) due to suspected "citation stacking", regardless of our well-documented explanation (please see our first note).

As of July 5, 2016, both journals will remain absent from the Journal Citation Report (JCR) 2015 data, but the journals will be re-listed in next year`s JCR. Coverage of the articles published in Applied Clinical Informatics and Methods of Information in Medicine, in Web of Science Core Collection (WoS CC) indexes, however, is unchanged at this time.

What does this mean for authors of both journals?

  1. Articles published in 2016 will gain the normal Impact Factors (IF) 2016 of both journals, which will be available in June 2017. 
  2. Articles published in 2015 in both journals unfortunately will have no IF.

To compensate for this unfortunate situation we will make all articles published in both journals in the year 2015 openly available. This will enable readers worldwide to have access to the articles in full-text without any restriction or the need to register beforehand. Furthermore, it will enable all good-willing scientists to make up their own mind in reading the criticized articles themselves.

In addition, corresponding authors of publications in the year 2015 in Methods of Information in Medicine and/or in Applied Clinical Informatics are eligible for one free Open Access option in either MIM or ACI for a peer-reviewed accepted paper until December 31, 2016.

We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience and we trust in your belief of absolute scientific honesty with regard to the former and present Editors-in-Chief of both journals as well as of Schattauer Publishers.

July 5, 2016

Impact Factor 2015

Thomson Reuters recently announced the release of the 2016 Journal Citation Reports (JCR). We were made aware that unfortunately, the 2015 Impact Factors of Methods of Information in Medicine and  Applied Clinical Informatics have been suppressed for one year due to "Citation Stacking", i.e. referencing between two journals of the same publisher. Together with the Editors-in-Chief of both journals, we have looked into this matter thoroughly and have identified this as an unintentional consequence of efforts to analyze the effects of bridging between theory and practice.
As you may know, by way of background:

  • In 1962, Methods of Information in Medicine (MIM) began to publish papers focused on the methodology and scientific fundamentals of organizing, representing, and analyzing data, information, and knowledge in biomedicine and health care.
  •  As a result of perceiving an increasing demand for research and information focusing on the practical applications vs. methods or theory for implementation and management of health information systems, 47 years later the journal Applied Clinical Informatics (ACI) was launched in 2009. ACI's mission is to support translational efforts in informatics from the bench to the bedside.

Both journals are official journals of IMIA, the International Medical Informatics Association, but with different albeit congruent missions. In an effort to analyze the efficacy of their respective missions and ability of each journal to deliver its important, different, but congruent mission, the Editors-in-Chief of both journals began to analyze the interdependencies from practice to theory as well as from theory to practice. In so analyzing, they finally had to acknowledge that the bridging goals that optimize the benefits of theory to practice and vice versa remained far from being achieved and will require additional efforts.  We believed these finding to be significant to both journals' readers and contributors so we published two papers, as noted below, one in each journal (only one journal was identified as a Donor and the other as the Recipient):

  1. Lehmann CU, Gundlapalli AV. Improving Bridging from Informatics Practice to Theory. Methods Inf Med. 2015;54(6):540-5. doi: 10.3414/ME15-01-0138. Epub 2015 Nov 18. PubMed PMID: 26577504.
  2. Haux R, Koch S. Improving Bridging from Informatics Theory to Practice. Appl Clin Inform. 2015 Dec 23;6(4):748-56. doi: 10.4338/ACI-2015-10-RA-0147. eCollection 2015. PubMed PMID: 26767067; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4704042.

Neither Methods nor ACI were accused of self-citations. However, we regret that implications of 'journal stacking' resulted from our efforts to improve the knowledge base in informatics.  Given the accusations, we explained the unintended background to Thomson Reuters and offered that both papers be excluded from the impact factor calculations.  We are still waiting to hear about the results of our protest and regret that this discussion became public prematurely.  We hope that this matter will be resolved appropriately in light of the spirit in which this effort was undertaken.
Schattauer GmbH, Publisher for Medicine and Natural Sciences
June 24, 2016