Journal impact or ranking is based on the number of citations articles receive, signifying a journal's importance and influence. Impact factors and rankings are not comparable across disciplines or databases. Impact metrics are not available for all journals. Keep a track by measuring impact with different tools.
Journal impact measures are often used in the field of science, medicine, technology, business and social science but are not a valuable measure of quality for arts and humanities journals.
Journal impact or ranking metrics are by their nature controversial. As with all measures of scholarly impact, they should be used in the appropriate context, and not in isolation. Use qualitative and quantitative measures to present your research impact.
New and emerging journals, including open access titles, may not have had time to appear on ranking or other lists.
Use Journal metric terms, Key measurement tools and Journal ranking.
CiteScore and SNIP are found using Scopus - Compare sources or Scopus Journal Sources
2021 CiteScore data - available from 9 June 2022
Note: The SNIP indicator may change for current and previous years when extra journal content is added to Scopus.
Journal Impact Factor (JIF or IF) is a term from Clarivate Analytics, formerly Thomson Reuters and ISI.
= average number of times articles from a journal, published in the last 2 years, have been cited in the JCR year
5 year JIF calculation is also available.
2021 Journal Impact Factor (JIF) data - available from 28 June 2022
Journal Citation Reports (JCR) from Incites is available to compare journal metrics across a range of years, e.g. Journal Impact Factor (JIF), Journal Citation Indicator (JCI), Journal ranking by Subject category...
This well known journal metric uses citation data from the Web of Science Core Collection. Use it for the latest JIF data.
Journal Citation Indicator (JCI) is the average Category Normalized Citation Impact (CNCI) of citable items (articles & reviews) published by a journal over a recent three year period. Only available through Journal Citation Reports (JCR).
Researchers are often encouraged to publish in, and read, journals with high impact factors, to enhance their research profile and awareness.
The journal h-index measures a journal’s impact based on the number of citations to it.
The h-index is the number of papers (N) with at least N citations each. For example, a journal with an h-index of 9 has at least nine published papers, each of which has been cited at least nine times.
Two key factors may impact on a journal h-index:
1. The journals indexed by the database - journals not indexed by the database will not be included in the h-index; no database indexes every journal. Search by journal title, including subtitles, and journal abbreviations.
2. The date range over which the journal history h-index is being measured; long standing journals will likely have a higher h-index.
Web of Science and SJR are the main source databases for h-index information for journals used by scientists.
Publish or Perish - merge this data with that from Web of Science and SJR, then remove duplicate results.
The h-index is not widely used outside the Sciences. At Otago, Humanities scholars are advised not to use the h-index. Citation counts do not necessarily reflect research impact in the Humanities. Social Science scholars may find the journal h-index useful when selecting where to publish.
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) demonstrates journal rankings or prestige, based on Scopus data. SJR normalises for differences in citation behaviour between different subjects. Subject field, quality, and reputation of the journal have a direct effect on the value of a citation.
= average number of citations per document by total journal citations within a 3-year period, in a subject category, while assigning higher value to citations from more prestigious journals.
Note: The SJR may change for current and previous years when extra journal content is added to Scopus.
Field Weighted Citation Impact (FWCI) shows how well cited an article is, when compared to similar articles in the same discipline, publication year or output type. FWCI takes into account the differences in research behaviour across disciplines. It is particularly valuable for cross-disciplinary research. Citations received up to 3 complete calendar years after publication are considered.
If the FWCI = 1, the output performs just as expected for the global average; if the FWCI = 1.48, it means 48% more cited than expected.
Find the FWCI using Scopus at article level; and SciVal (updated weekly from Scopus data) at author, institution and regional level.
Research Metrics Guidebook - see p46-48.
What is Field Weighted Citation Impact? - tutorial
Category Normalised Citation Impact (CNCI) uses the actual count of citing items, divided by the expected citation rate for documents with the same document type, year of publication and subject area. When a document is assigned to more than one subject area an average of the ratios of the actual to expected citations is used.
If the CNCI = 1, this represents performance at par with world average. A CNCI value of 2 is considered twice world average.
Find the CNCI and JNCI (Journal Normalised Citation Impact) using Incites, from Clarivate Analytics, formerly Thomson Reuters and ISI. This metric is useful for benchmarking at author, institutional or regional level.
Incites Indicators Handbook - see p13-15
About InCites Data: Understanding the Metrics
Complementary Indicators - consider using:
Eigenfactor Score (EF) - a measure of a journal's importance to the scientific community, based on past 5 years' data from Clarivate; available for 1997-2015. A journal's Scores are scaled so that the sum of all journal scores is 100.
Normalised Eigenfactor Score (EFn) - scaled so that the journal’s mean score = 1.00. A journal with a Normalized Eigenfactor Score of 3 has three times the total influence of the average journal in the JCR. In 2014, PLoS One had the highest EFn Score of 217.451.
Article Influence Score: The mean Article Influence Score is 1.00. An Article Influence Score greater than 1.00 indicates that the articles in a journal have an above-average influence.
See Citation Metrics: Alternative Metrics as it applies to journals.
Obvious factors can heavily influence journal impact factors, such as journal title changes, or publishers gaming the system by requiring authors to cite articles from other journals by the same publisher. However there are more systematic problems:
Journal Citation Reports™ (JCR) provides you with the transparent, publisher-neutral data and statistics you need to make confident decisions in today’s evolving scholarly publishing landscape, whether you’re submitting your first manuscript or managing a portfolio of thousands of publications.
Quickly understand a journal’s role within and influence upon the global research community by exploring a rich array of citation metrics, including the Journal Impact Factor™ (JIF), alongside descriptive data about a journal’s open access content and contributing authors.
SciVal (Elsevier) offers quick, easy access to the research performance of over 10,000 research institutions and over 200 countries worldwide. SciVal enables you to navigate the world of research and devise an optimal plan to drive and analyse your performance.
Contact your Subject Librarian for assistance with SciVal.
View the SciVal Usage and Patent Metrics Guidebook (SciVal login required) - access via the Help menu
Use discipline specific lists to find journal rankings and metrics to: