Abstract: Academia’s obsession with the journal impact factor has been a subject of debate for some time. Most would probably agree that it is useful as a crude measure of a journal’s prestige, quality, and general influence on a scientific or medical field but should not be overinterpreted. Nonetheless, some institutions go as far as disregarding a student’s or faculty member’s publications in journals with impact factors less than a certain number (often the magic number is 5) when it comes to performance evaluation, promotion, graduation, or hiring. Such overemphasis ignores that one journal with a lower impact factor may actually have more rigorous standards for acceptance of a paper than another with a higher impact factor. This situation may be observed for a variety of reasons, such as the degree of specialization of a journal or the ratio of review articles vs. original research papers. Another more nefarious contributor to a journal’s impact factor, manipulated citations, is also growing and threatening to expose the deepening cracks in the foundation of academia’s favorite metric.