A Twitt by someone who appears to be a postdoc brought me up short.
@mbeisen @neuromusic @drisis @devinberg Does this mean I an screwed since I have NO FREAKING CLUE what the IF are of journals I publish in?!
A followup from @mrhunsaker wasn't much better.
@drisis @mbeisen @neuromusic @devinberg I agree that high IF is demanded. I'm constantly asked to find a Higher Impact co-author & I refuse
What this even means I do not know*. A "Higher Impact co-author"? What? Maybe this means collaborate with someone doing something that is going to get your own work into a higher IF journal? Anyway....
The main point here is that no matter your position on the Journal Impact Factor, no matter the subfield of biomedical science in which you reside, no matter the nature of your questions, models and data...it is absolutely not okay to not understand the implications of the IF. Particularly by the time you are a postdoc.
You absolutely need to understand the IF of journals you publish in, people in your subfield publish in and that people who will be judging you publish in. You need to understand the range, what represents a bit of a stretch for your work, what is your bread-and-butter zone and what is a dump journal.
If your mentors and fellow (more senior) trainees are not bringing you up to speed on this stuff they are committing mentoring malpractice.
*UPDATE: apparently this person meant for text book chapters and review articles that editors were suggesting a more senior person should be involved. Different issue....but the phrasing as "higher impact" co-author is disturbing.