I am delighted that this is being taken forward, and in particular in view of the extortionate prices charged by some major publishers, and the gimmicky add-ones they try to force upon authors as marketing tools. But while these costs hurt every department and related colleague collectively (but not very directly), it is the citation index / impact factor which matters most for the individual authors, and they are the ones who decide where to submit (and hopefully publish). Of course, production quality, speed of process etc. are also very high on the list, but these are 'relatively easily' addressed by the journal team.
More difficult is it to get the CI up to a level where it starts to make sense - and the different scales in different subject areas don't help. Some fields have much higher average CIs than others, and if you are in a department where the average is high, then a paper in a low CI journal doesn't help. For numbers: Antiquity, a journal we regard very highly indeed, has a current impact factor of 1.07, Archaeometry and JAS have somewhere around 1.3 to 1.7 I think - while the Journal of Raman Spectroscopy has a IF of 3.1. And there are engineering / natural science journals out there with IFs in the mid- to high single and even two-digit range...
Here it matters that the authors are conscious of the mechanics involved, and make an effort to include relevant recent papers from that journal (only the last two years count!) into their list of references when submitting their manuscripts. There is no other way to get the CI up (apart from what Tim mentioned - selecting only high-citation papers into the proper journal, and publishing the others as a separate series).
I will certainly place much more of my work with the new style HistMet journal, and would be delighted if others did this too.
I just checked the citation pattern for my own publications on Google Scholar. I estimate that about half of my papers are on proper archaeometallurgy, about one quarter to one third on glass, and the rest on technical ceramics. However, of the 10 papers I have published since 2000 which have been most cited, seven are for glass topics - including the top four ones. Only two are on straight archaeometallurgy, and one on technical ceramics (or three, if you count two which are in the glass category above). Even within the broad field of archaeometry, there are different citation habits and intensity of publication. This is solely driven by authors' research activity and citation behaviour...
From: Arch-Metals Group [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Tim Young [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 20 June 2012 15:30
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Archaeometallurgy Journals
On 20 Jun 2012 at 13:19, Ian Freestone wrote:
> Dear All
> I think that there is an outstanding issue which David Killick mentioned
> and which needs to be discussed within the HMS.
.... and of course it is being!
The society actually has various routes for publications - and I think we will see more being
made of them in the future, perhaps with more differentiation between them.
Much is going on behind the scenes at the moment....
The game is afoot....