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Journal Impact Factor measures the importance of a journal by the number of times its articles have been cited over a particular period. The larger the impact factor number, the more influential the journal.
Journal impact factors vary among disciplines; impact factors only have meaning when comparing journals in the same discipline.
It should also be noted that journal impact factor as a measure of research quality has been disputed by scholars (e.g., San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment).
Journal Citation Reports & InCites
Journal Citation Reports (JCR) - (GALILEO). JCR is the original source for journal impact factor. It only covers journals indexed by Web of Science, which has relatively weak coverage of the social sciences and humanities. JCR has added several other metrics in addtional to Impact Factor: Immediacy Index, Cited Half-Life, Eigenfactor, and more.
Alternative Sources for Computing Journal Impact
- Eigenfactor.org - Analyzes science and social science journals indexed in the Journal Citation Reports database. The Eigenfactor score and the associated Article Influence score (both also reported in Journal Citation Reports) take into consideration the value of the journals which cite an article; a journal is highly-valued if the articles that are published in it are cited by other highly-valued journals. Eigenfactor.org not only ranks scholarly journals, but also lists newsprint, PhD theses, popular magazines and more.
- Faculty Opinion (formerly F1000 Prime): "Identifies and recommends important articles in biology and medical research publications. Articles are selected by a peer-nominated global 'Faculty' of the world's leading scientists and clinicians who then rate them and explain their importance."
- Google Scholar Metrics: Browse the top 100 scholarly publications in various fields, ordered by their five-year h-index and h-median metrics. Click on 'Social Sciences' then 'subcategories' to see fields in Education. Click on a journal's 'h5-index' to see which articles were cited the most and who cited them over the last 5 calendar years. GS Metrics doesn't cover journals with less than 100 citations in the last five years. See the Coverage and Inclusion webpages for complete and updated details.
- Harzing.com - Journal Quality List: A collection of journal rankings from a variety of sources in the broad areas of Finance, Management, and Marketing. Included are journals covering the fields of Organizational Behavior/Studies, Human Resources, Psychology, Sociology and Tourism. Collated by Anne-Wil Harzing, Professor in International Management and Associate Dean of Research at the University of Melbourne, Australia. The list is usually updated at least twice a year.
- Journal-Ranking.com (Redjasper): Covers the same titles as the Journal Citation Reports, but uses a different ranking method. The site is interactive and allows you to customize your ranking.
- SCImago Journal Rank: Developed from the Google Page Rank algorithm, it ranks journals listed in the Scopus database. (Scopus is a competitor to Web of Science. UGA Libraries does not subscribe to it.) Education researchers: In the 'rankings parameters' box at the top, choose the subject area "Social Sciences", then the subject category 'Education'.
- Source Normalized Impact Per Paper (SNIP): Is used by Scopus to rank journals in its database. SNIP weighs citations based on the particular characteristics of the source's subject field, including the frequency at which authors cite other papers in their reference lists, the speed at which citation impact matures, and the extent to which the database used in the assessment covers the field’s literature. SNIP is the ratio of a source's average citation count per paper, and the ‘citation potential’ of its subject field. It aims to allow direct comparison of sources in different subject fields.The impact of a single citation is given higher value in subject areas where citations are less likely, and vice versa.
The following sources provide journal circulation numbers and acceptance rates:
- MLA Directory of Periodicals (UGA ID/Password required) Part of the MLA International Bibliography Database. Tab is at the top left of the databases's search screen.
- APA Journal Statistics and Operations Data: Provides manuscript rejection rates, circulation data, publication lag time, and other statistics for journals indexed in the American Psychological Associations databases.
- Journal editors might be able to provide this information.
- Professional associations and societies (such as the APA highlighted above) might be able to provide this information for some journals in their discipline or that they publish.
Discipline-Specific Journal Ranking Sites