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The Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) was founded by Eugene Garfield in 1960. It was acquired by Thomson Scientific in 1992 and is therefore often referred to as Thomson ISI. ISI offers bibliographic database services. Its particular speciality is citation analysis, a field pioneered by Garfield.
It maintains a citation database covering thousands of journals, known as the Science Citation Index (SCI) which is made available online through the Web of Science service. This database allows a researcher to identify which articles have been cited most frequently, and who has cited them.
ISI also an annual Journal Citation Report which lists an Impact Factor for each of the journals that it tracks. Within the scientific community, journal Impact Factors play a huge but controversial role in determining the kudos attached to a scientist's published research record.
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