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Measuring Your Research Impact: Journal Impact

This guide will help researchers to measure and increase the impact of their published work.

On This Page

Learn How to Find Journal Impact and Other Metrics 

The importance of particular academic journals can be studied by examining factors such as the number of times their articles are cited in journals or mentioned in alternative metrics such as as tweets, likes, and blog posts.

  • Journal Citation Reports

  • Eigenfactor

  • SCImago Journal Rankings

  • Google Scholar Metrics

Additional studies use other methods to measure the impact of authors and journals in particular fields and sub-fields.

Problems With Journal Rankings

Journal impact rankings should be used with care due to factors such as:

Thomson Reuters, Publisher of Journal Citation Reports, notes its citation data and journal impact rankings should not replace informed peer review.

Journal Impact

What is journal impact?

Thomson Reuters, one of the original compilers of citation data and publisher of Journal Citation Reports, defines impact factor as the "average number of times articles from the journal published in the past two years have been cited in the JCR year." 

Journal Citation Reports (JCR) include additional metrics such as the immediacy index. See the other tools noted on this page for other methods to study journal quality.

Journal Citation Reports

       

ISI Journal Citation Reports (JCR)

Published by Thomson Reuters and associated with the ISI Web of Knowledge, JCR is published annually in science and social science editions. The search form makes it possible to look up individual journals as well as groups of journals arranged by subject categories.


Citation data such as the following can be obtained for individual journals:

Rankings such as the following can be obtained for journals in particular subject categories such as economics:

Eigenfactor

The Eigenfactor Score also uses Journal Citation Reports (JCR) data to assess the influence of journals.  JCR says it "is based on the number of times articles from journals cited in the past five years have been cited in the JCR year, but it also considers which journals have contributed these citations so that highly cited journals will influence the network more than lesser cited journals."

The Eigenfactor Article Influence Score is calculated "by dividing a journal's Eigenfactor Score by the number of articles in the journal, normalized as a fraction," according to JCR.

A search of JCR for specific journals and for journals by subject will obtain the Eigenfactor Score in addition to the Journal Impact Factor. Eigenfactor Scores also are available from Eigenfactor.org.

SCImago Journal Ranking (SJR)

SCImago uses citation data from Elsevier's Scopus database.  (Rod Library does not subscribe to the Scopus database.) Citations from higher ranked journals are weighted more than from other journals. Journals are ranked in subject categories such as Biochemistry:

Google Scholar Metrics

Google Scholar provides a ranking of journals in numerous subject catagories and subcategories, based on citation data compiled by Google Scholar.

Click the Metrics link on the Google Scholar home page to see Subjects and journal rankings by h5-index and h5-median.   Here's an example for political science: