The Kardashian index... why should we care? Madhu Singh, University of Iowa 31 July 2014 First, I should congratulate the author for getting attention of the editors of Genome Biology to even get this 'paper' published. Next, I should congratulate the editors for thinking 'out of the box' to accept this manuscript. It will surely increase the traffic, even if the journal doesn't need a boost in its impact factor. Now, about the Kardashian index. Unless the scientists are being judged by their peers for hiring, promotions, funding, or publications, the social media impact is harmless. The disconcerting part in the paper was that the author witnessed his peers succumbing to the Kardashian index for extending invitation to someone whose selection was mainly, if not the solely, on the basis of social media impact. There will always be people in any field who gain popularity because of their personality rather than substance. Social media is simply amplifying this effect. The entire concept of impact factor in sciences by any measure is ridiculous; it only tells what is trendy in a given era (a Kardashian-like index?). I think the Kardashians might be doing some good to science by increasing awareness among people. That is a much needed impetus to research during this lean period of funding. Competing interests none.