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Press Release 
Thumbs-up for Water SA and open-source publishing 

During June 2008 the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) release their 2007 ISI/SCI Journal Citation Reports (JCR), reporting journal impact factors (IF) for the world’s most important scholarly journals. The JCR provides quantitative tools for ranking, evaluating, categorising, and comparing journals. The IF is one of these and is a measure of the frequency with which an average article in a journal has been cited in any particular year or period. The latest available Science Citation index – Journal Citation Reports published by the ISI ranks over 5 900 journals by impact factor.
The South African multidisciplinary scholarly water journal Water SA, under the Science Citation Index (SCI), improved its ISI/SCI IF from 0.494 in 2006 to 1.120 in 2007, and came out as the 2nd ranked journal in South Africa and well-ranked in the water journal category worldwide. This journal has been funded and published by the Water Research Commission (WRC) since 1975
and the 2007 IF is the highest ever achieved. An IF score of 1 indicates that, on average, a paper published in that journal will be cited once in another paper published in a peer-reviewed journal. South African journals rarely have an impact score of over 1; good international journals have an impact score of 2 to 3. 

The ISI also gives comparative data on the number of journal articles published over the period of assessment, the immediacy index, and cited and citing half-life. Water SA published 99 articles in 2007, and the score for the immediacy index was 0.202. ‘Immediacy’ gives an indication of how soon one can expect to start seeing citations of a published article – an index of 0.202 is quite significant. The journal’s cited half-life for this assessment period was 6.3 years and its citing halflife came to 7.9 years. The cited half-life is the median age of its articles cited in the current JCR year; the cited half-life calculation finds the number of publication years from the current JCR year
that account for 50% of citations received by the journal. Half of the citations to the journal are to articles published within the cited half-life. The citing half-life for the journal is the median age of the articles the journal cited in the current JCR year; the citing half-life calculation finds the number of publication years from the current JCR year that account for 50% of citations in the journal.*

Not only is this most recent IF rating a remarkable achievement for the journal, but also for opensource publishing. From April 2005 onwards Water SA has been published free of charge as an open-source e-journal (URL: http://www.wrc.org.za/publications_watersa.htm ) with a limited printrun
and paper copies available on request at nominal cost. “The online copy is regarded as the principle copy and we are presently engaged in digitising all back copies and creating a digital archive in order to provide our readers with the entire Water SA collection dating back to 1975,” reports WRC Science Editor Ingrid Buchan.

* Science Citation Index® (SCI®), Journal Citation Reports®, JCR Web, via ISI Web of Knowledge, copyright © 2008 THOMSON REUTERS.
For more information:
· Ingrid Buchan, Tel: (012) 330-0340; E-mail: ingridb@wrc.org.za

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