- Academic institutions weigh the research contribution of family physicians and take this factor into account when determining eligibility for the candidates’ promotion. Among other parameters, these institutions consider the journals in which family physicians publish. In this respect, the impact factor (IF) has gained a foothold as one of the most accepted means to measure this contribution. The IF may be a measure of the main importance of a scientific journal. IF has a huge, but controversial, influence on the perception and evaluation of published scientific research. It is important for family physicians to understand and be aware of the importance of the IF and the way it is calculated. The IF is one consideration in the decision-making process of a researcher as to where to publish because the IF of most family medicine journals is less than 2.0. Thus publication in these journals might not yield the proper “score” for academic promotion in many institutions. On the other hand, publication in journals with higher IF that are not necessarily widely read by primary care physicians could result in a small impact of their findings on direct patient care.