Lazano GA, Larivière V, Gingras Y. The weakening relationship between the impact factor and papers' citations in the digital age. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 2012;63(11):2140-2145
This study compares the strength of the relationship between journals' impact factors (IFs) and the actual citations received by their respective papers from 1902 to 2009. Since scientific information began to be disseminated electronically, around 1990, the relation between IFs and paper citation rates has been weakening, and the percentage of top papers coming from the top journals has been decreasing. All this could bring forth the end of the IF as a useful measure of the quality of journals, papers, and researchers.