The founder of the Impact factor is Eugene Garfield. He first came up with the idea of a citation index for science articles presented in an article from 1955.
In this article he proposes a bibliographic system for science literature that will "eliminate the uncritical citation of fraudulent, incomplete, or obsolete data by making it possible for the conscientious scholar to be aware of criticisms of earlier papers" (p. 108)
It all began in 1963 with an index called Science Citation Index, which consisted of 4 parts (in print)
As the internet grew and the systems became electronic this particular index evolved into Web of Science and Journal Citation Reports, both provided by Thomson Reuters.
Today this particular field is called Bibliometrics. The calculations are being used for measuring a scholar's work (h-index) as well as counting the importance of a journal in a particular field by measuring citation counts compared to total amount of articles in the same journal (i.e. Journal Impact Factor). The higher the number, the better the journal´s impact factor, thereby stating that the particular journal is supposed to have a certain influence within its field, too.
When comparing journal impact factors it is important to remember which criteria are used and also how the measurements are being calculated. You should not compare journals from the discipline Mathematics with journals from the discipline Microbiology, because publishing tradition within these two disciplines are fairly different.
DTU Library provide the analysis of publications, citations and impact for both research groups, individuals and at department level for the annual reports. Furthermore, we supply analysis of the total performance at The Technical University of Denmark, DTU.
You can read more about this at our Website
If you have questions on the matter or need assistance to calculate your H-Index - please contact DTU Library for more.
Do visit the Portal - Startpublishing.nu for more. This particular portal is developed as a DEFF funded project with participation from every big research university library in Denmark, and is still maintained in collaboration with DTU Library, SDU Library and Åarhus University Library.
But if you need assistance to calculate your own private H-index to add for an application or perhaps before the annual MUS meeting with your Head of Department, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help or follow the quick-guide on how to - via Web of Science.
The calculation method comes from J.E. Hirsch - you can read more about it from the original article published in 2005 from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America