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Measuring and Increasing Your Research Impact

Provides a variety of alternatives to JCR that may be used to find journal rankings

Engineering Librarian & CAPLA Liaison

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Paula C Johnson
Main Library A403

Background information

Quantitative analysis of journals is a way traditional peer review may be augmented to gain a more complete picture of a scholar's impact in a particular field. Three measures can be used:

  • number of publications
  • number of times an author's publications have been cited
  • the importance of the journal where the article is published, or the Journal Ranking.

Knowing the impact or importance of the journal can help in making strategic decisions about where an author will choose to submit an article. Libraries and librarians also consider journal rankings in collection development decisions.

Experts stress that there are limitations in using journal impact factors to evaluate a scholar's work. There are many reasons listed for not relying on impact factor alone to evaluate the output of a particular individual. Among these are the following:

  • A single factor is not sufficient for evaluating of an author's work.
  • Journal values are meaningless unless compared within the same discipline. Impact factors vary among disciplines.
  • The impact factor was originally devised to show the impact of a specific journal, not a specific scholar. The quality and impact of the author's work usually extend beyond the impact of a particular journal they publish in.

It's also important not to do cross-discipline comparisons of impact. For an example, in 2017 the following three journals were the top in their respective fields - and yet look at the difference in JIF:

Nature Materials 39.235  
New England Journal of Medicine 79.258
Psychotherapy & Psychosomatics 13.122

Sources for Journal Rankings

You may be interested in publishing with the "top journals" in your field. UA discontinued its subscription to Journal Citation Reports (JCR) when we dropped access to Web of Science. Some publishers will provide the JCR impact factor for their journals on their website. However, the below offer viable alternatives for finding where a journal ranks among peer publications. SJR's article Influence score measures a journal's prestige based on per article citations and is comparable to JCR's Journal Impact Factor (JIF).

SCImago Journal (SJR)

You can search for a specific title or see the rankings of journals within a particular subject area. The SJR indicator is a measure of the scientific influence of scholarly journals that accounts for both the number of citations received by a journal and the importance or prestige of the journals where the citations come from. A journal's SJR is a numeric value indicating the average number of weighted citations received during a selected year per document published in that journal during the previous three years. Higher SJR values are meant to indicate greater journal prestige.

Journal CiteScore

Data are generated from corpus of scholarly works indexed in the Scopus database. Includes SNIP - Source Normalized Impact per Paper measures contextual citation impact by weighting citations based on the total number of citations in a subject field. Also offers IPP metrics: the Impact per Publication measures the ratio of citations per article published in the journal.

Google Scholar Metrics

Google Scholar Metrics provide an easy way for authors to quickly gauge the visibility and influence of recent articles in scholarly publications. Scholar Metrics summarize recent citations to many publications, to help authors as they consider where to publish their new research.

Provides a "Journal Quality List". The Journal Quality List comprises academic journals in the following broad areas: Economics, Finance, Accounting, Management, and Marketing.