Purpose: To analyze the aggregate impact factor (AIF) in ophthalmology, its inflation rate, and its relation to other subject fields. Methods: A retrospective, database review of all subject fields in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR), Science edition. Citation data, AIF, number of journals and citations from the years 2003–2011 were analyzed. Data were retrieved from JCR. Future trends were calculated using a linear regression method. Results: The AIF varies considerably between subjects. It shows also an inflation rate, which varies annually. The AIF inflation rate in ophthalmology was not as high as the background AIF inflation rate. Conclusions: The AIF inflation rate caused the AIF to increase annually. Not considering these variations in the AIF between years and between fields will make the AIF as a bibliometric tool inappropriate.

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