South African Journal of Science
On-line version ISSN 1996-7489
Quantitatively assessing the scientific relevance of a research paper is challenging for two reasons. Firstly, scientific relevance may change over time, and secondly, it is unclear how to evaluate a recently published paper. The temporally averaged paper-specific impact factor is defined as the yearly average of citations to the paper until now including bonus citations equal to the journal impact factor in the publication year. This new measure subsequently allows relevance rankings and annual updates of all (i.e. both recent and older) scientific papers of a department, or even a whole scientific field, on a more objective basis. It can also be used to assess both the average and overall time-dependent scientific relevance of researchers in a specific department or scientific field.
Keywords : journal impact factor; paper-specific impact factor; time course; single paper evaluation; researcher evaluation.