EDITORIAL

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Science  05 Aug 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6299, pp. 523
DOI: 10.1126/science.aah6493

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Summary

Tools for judging the impact of publications are critical for scientific leaders, librarians, and individual investigators. An important, but certainly imperfect, measure of impact is the number of times that a paper is cited over time. Citation numbers for individual papers can be aggregated to develop indices that are used to evaluate the content of journals or productivity over the course of a career. Although these indices are convenient, it is important to examine them critically to avoid their misuse.