Saying that Physical Therapy (PTJ) is an important rehabilitation research journal isn't just an opinion—it's fact. According to Journal Citation Reports (JCR), the frequency with which PTJ is cited in other journals—indicated by something called an "impact factor"—makes PTJ #2 among rehabilitation journals, and #5 among orthopedic journals. Impact factor ratings are used by many researchers to decide where to publish their work.
PTJ’s impact factor jumped from 2.778 in 2012 to 3.245 in 2013. PTJ’s 5-year impact factor is 3.896 (#3 out of all rehab journals).
PTJ also was the second most frequently cited journal in 2012 in the rehabilitation category, and the 11th most frequently cited in the orthopedic category.
The JCR rating isn't the only indicator that PTJ 's prominence is growing. Another rating, called the Eigenfactor score, ranks PTJ third among rehabilitation journals even after excluding self-citation (references from one article in a journal to another article in the same journal). The Eigenfactor score also places PTJ third among rehabilitation journals when it comes to "article influence," a measure of the average influence of a journal's articles over the first 5 years after publication.
Impact factor rankings can be meaningful to the clinician, according to PTJ’s Editor in Chief Rebecca Craik, PT, PhD, FAPTA. Sometimes articles can be cited for negative reasons, but generally "the higher the impact factor, the more useful the information is," she said in an APTA video dispatch. "It means that scientists are citing that work, or other clinicians who are publishing are citing that work, so it speaks to the value of the material that is presented in these papers."
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