Measuring the growing impact of Green Chemistry scholarly research.

Advancing Green Chemistry has a long-standing interest in benchmarking the advancement of the field of Green Chemistry;  one particular area in which one can measure change is in scientific publications.

Recently there have been two new assessments of growth in the overall numbers  – and impact factor  – of the scientific publications in Green Chemistry.  As a field of science that is on the rise, this is to be expected; but it is extremely gratifying to see data on such advancements. This is not just hand waving, but statistical evidence of a profound shift in chemistry in favor of Green Chemistry, its processes, and applications.

First is the brief yet stunning news from the Royal Society of Chemistry journal, Green Chemistry. From a blog post by Editor Sarah Ruthven:

Highest Impact Factor for Green Chemistry – 5.84

18 Jul 2010

“Newly released 2009 ISI citation data shows the impact factor for Green Chemistry hits a record high of 5.84, representing a 28.5% growth over the 2008 figure.

This impressive trend underlines the continuing success of Green Chemistry, now in its 12th year of publishing. This news reinforces Green Chemistry’s  position as the leading journal for publishing cutting-edge research of the highest quality in the field of green and sustainable technologies.”

The impact factor, often abbreviated IF, is a measure reflecting the average number of citations to articles published in science and social science journals. It is frequently used as a proxy for the relative importance of a journal within its field, with journals with higher impact factors deemed to be more important than those with lower ones.

By way of comparison, the average impact factor for Royal Society chemistry journals in 2008 was 6.042. This means that Green Chemistry has entered mainstream chemistry and can no longer be considered a niche field.

Additionally, the journal Green Chemistry: Letters and Reviews (Taylor and Francis) has just published a review article entitled,

Green Chemistry: state of the art through an analysis of the literature (by V. Dichiarante; D. Ravelli; A. Albini).

The abstract states:

“The literature of green chemistry has undergone a dramatic increase in the new millennium. Besides that, in ad hoc journals, papers of this type are published in journals of general, organic, and catalytic chemistry. The high proportion of communications within this area indicates that this is a hot topic. These reports mainly concern more environment-friendly synthetic methods, based on better catalytic systems, less harmful solvents and, more rarely, “alternative” physical techniques. Although the compliance with the green chemistry postulates is still partial, a trend in this direction is recognizable. For example, the number of preparative papers that introduce an environmental assessment is rapidly increasing.”

Both of these analyses indicate that the science of Green Chemistry  – as measured through scientific publications – is on the rise and a more established dimension of the science of chemistry. This is exciting news.