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Tiago Lima Quintanilha

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PhD student in Communication Sciences at ISCTE–IUL (Portugal) and doctoral scholar of the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). Quintanilha works in the area of Social Sciences, with emphasis on communication sciences, open science and journalism studies. He was the manager of an international scientific journal, from 2009 to 2016. He attends the third year of the PhD in Communication Sciences at ISCTE-IUL. He received two prizes of academic merit and is the author and co-author of three books, 12 book chapters, ten articles in international and national academic journals, and more than 60 research reports in the area of media and communication. He also collaborated with the Observatory of Communication, the SOCIUS, Center for Research in Economic and Organisational Sociology at ISEG-UL, the Regulatory Entity for Social Communication and the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism with the project Digital News Report Portugal (2015 & 2016).

Gustavo Cardoso

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Cardoso is a full Professor at ISCTE – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (Portugal), researcher integrated in the CIES-IUL, associate researcher in Le collège d'etudes mondiales and editor of the journal OBS*Observatory.


The impact factor (IF) is perceived by all researchers and scientists as the main criterion in their publication strategies, in order to respond to the demands of the academic reward system that defines career progression and the allocation of funds for research. Through a review of published literature we aim to explore different limits and ranges associated with impact factor, according to academia. We also try to understand in which way the state of the art is evolving, as well as the features that point to ambiguous criteria inherent to the construct on which impact factor was established as the legitimising criteria of scientific knowledge production.


Impact factor; legitimacy; scientific knowledge production; citation metrics

How to cite this article

Quintanilha, Tiago Lima; Cardoso, Gustavo (2018). "The impact factor as a legitimator of the scientific knowledge produced: a review of the literature". JANUS.NET e-journal of International Relations, Vol. 9, N.º 2, November 2018-April 2019. Consulted [online] on the date of the last visit, https://doi.org/10.26619/1647-7251.9.2.3

Article received on February 2, 2018 and accepted for publication on October 13, 2018