Journal Citation Reports – Journal Impact Factor

Journal Citation Reports – Journal Impact Factor


Journal Citation Reports is a resource released annually, containing metrics that help you understand citation patterns in different
academic fields. One such metric is the Journal Impact Factor score, which allows you to see how highly cited the average article published in a particular journal is relative to others in its field or discipline. When considering this metric, it is critical
to understand that Journal Impact Factor scores pertain to journals, and thus represent averages. To calculate a journal’s score, we first
aggregate all of the article-level Web of Science Core Collection citation data for
the journal. Using data from the two years prior to the date of the JCR edition, we calculate Journal Impact Factor by dividing the total number of citations to items published in the journal by the number of articles and reviews it published during that same time span. When you are thinking about Journal Impact factor scores, remember that different academic fields have different patterns of citation
activity. So what might be considered a high score in one Subject Category might differ from what would be considered a high score in another. In JCR, the Journal Impact Factor for a journal is available from the Journals by Rank tab or from a journal’s profile page. To view a journal ranking by category, select the category from the filter panel on the left and click Submit. For example, I want to view all journals in
behavioral sciences. By default, journals are sorted by Journal
Impact Factor. To change the sort order, click on the column of another indicator, for example, Total Cites. Total Cites is a count of the raw number of citations journals received from articles published in 2016. Animal Behaviour comes out on top with over 24,000 citations. The problem with this number is that it is
biased in favor of age. Although the citations all came from material
published in 2016, they could be to articles published at any time. This means that journals with large backfiles
are bigger targets. Because they have more volumes and issues, their chances of being cited increase. One thing the Journal Impact Factor score is designed to do is to eliminate this bias by only taking the prior two years into consideration. When I sort by Journal Impact Factor, Trends in Cognitive Sciences is the top journal. To explore the Journal Impact Factor calculation from this view, click on the indicator. To navigate to a full journal profile, click
on the journal name. We’ll take a closer look at the journal
“Cortex.” From the profile view, you can explore Journal Impact Factor scores from the current edition and previous years. Journal Impact Factor measures the average impact of an article published in a given journal. To calculate Journal Impact Factor, we tally the number of citations the journal received in that JCR data year to its published items from the previous two years. We divide that by the number of citable items the journal published in that same time span. We consider citable items to be articles and reviews. Thus, in the Journal Impact Factor denominator, we’re only counting those document types, and excluding things like letters and editorials. We only count the documents types that are likely to be cited and have an impact on the literature. The numerator, which represents the incoming citations, does not make this distinction. We count all of the citations the journal
receives to its two year output, even if the citation is to a letter or editorial. Note that the Journal Impact Factor denominator
is hyperlinked. Clicking on the denominator takes me to a document list showing the citable items—the articles and the reviews. If desired, I can choose to view just the articles
or just the reviews. Clicking on the title of a citable item takes me to the full record page of that publication in Web of Science Core Collection. Journal Impact Factor is the simple ratio
of all citations the journal receives divided by the number of items expected to be cited. Journal Impact Factor scores help you compare journals to assess the relative quality of different publications. As you make comparisons, note that every journal in the JCR is assigned at least one subject category, but some journals are assigned more than one. For example, Cortex has been assigned two categories: behavioral sciences and neurosciences. Each journal only gets one Journal Impact
Factor score, but what that score means may vary across categories when a journal has
more than one. Let’s take a look at the Rank section. Based on the table, I can easily see that
this journal’s Impact Factor score of 4.279 ranks it number 4 in a field of 51 journals in behavioral sciences, and number 61 in a field of 258 neurosciences journals. This added context provides a useful way to get a true picture of this journal’s relationship to other publications. While Journal Impact Factor is a useful metric, Clarivate Analytics does not recommend that you depend solely upon citation data in your journal evaluations. Please review our article, “Using Journal
Citation Reports Wisely,” which can be found in the Help file, to learn about applying
JCR metrics. Citation data are not meant to replace informed peer review, and we recommend you pay careful attention to the many conditions that can
influence citation rates, such as language, journal history and format, publication schedule, and subject specialty.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *