impact factor

Today's scientific discoveries take teams, and long times to come to fruition. And there seem to be fewer "aha" moments. Is it because we’ve found all the low-hanging fruit? Or were the words of Albert Michaelson, America's first Noble Prize winner in physics, correct? "The more important fundamental laws and facts of physical science,” he said, “have all been discovered." Or, even still, have we unintentionally distorted the marketplace of ideas?
Perhaps the most problematic classification system in the scientific community is that of the impact factor, which attempts to rank journals by their relative importance. This factor for a particular journal is equal to the average number of times an article in the journal is cited in a given year. While this sounds useful, in practice, it has been a slow-motion train wreck.