An impact factor, calculated yearly by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) for a carefully selected group of health care journals, currently stands as a statistical proxy for a research journal’s prominence. While the precise meaning, reliability, and validity of an impact factor (which measures the number of times articles from a journal are cited) remains very controversial, the Nursing History Review was one of the original nursing journals for which ISI calculates an impact factor. In 2008, Thomson Scientific (who creates the impact factor) moved the Nursing History Review out of the nursing category and into that of the "History of the Social Sciences." This is a testament to the multi-disciplinary nature of the Review (10% of our authors over time are not nurses but historians and social scientists). The Nursing History Review has also been recognized as a high impact journal with a strong international presence in the discipline (see Dougherty, M.C., Lin, S., McKenna, H.P. and Seers, K. (2004). International content of high ranking nursing journals in the year 2000. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 36 (2), 173-179).
In 2013 (latest year calculated) our impact factor (IF) is 0.176. This IF metric is based on both the numbers of articles published per year and numbers of citations over the past two years. This has a substantive bearing on the Review’s IF: it is, an annual journal publishes only three to five articles per year; and, in the discipline of history, articles remain relevant for far longer than two years. In addition, many of our articles are referenced in books and humanities journals that are not surveyed in calculating IFs. These also influence the h-factor in Google Scholar (released July 2013): h5 index = 5; h5 median = 5.