The journal impact factor, approximately the average number of times that primary research papers published in 2 consecutive years are cited in the following year, is the most widely used method of assessing the quality of a journal. However, this metric also includes citations to other non-primary content such as reviews and news articles. Other shortcomings are that citations accumulate slowly in many fields, and the average number of citations per paper can be skewed by a few highly cited manuscripts.
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