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Honors Scholars: Journal Impact

Explanatory Note:

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.

For a quick introduction to the topic of Journal Impact Factor, see a tutorial from Ebling Library for the Health Sciences (University of Wisconsin-Madison).

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

  • - 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. not only ranks scholarly journals, but also lists newsprint, PhD theses, popular magazines and more.
  • Faculty of 1000 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.
  • - 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.
  • (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.



Circulation Metrics

The following sources provide journal circulation numbers:


Discipline-Specific Journal Ranking Sites


Association of Business School (ABS) Academic Journal Quality Guide, Version 4 (2010) - "The Guide should be comprehensive in the coverage of research conducted in Business Schools in the UK and internationally covering a wide range of disciplines, fields and sub-fields within the social sciences and taking an inclusive approach to what constitutes business and management research."

Journal Ranking Articles Published 1990-2009, by Discipline - from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

The University of Texas-Dallas Top 100 Business School Research Rankings: Tracks publications in 24 leading business journals. The database contains titles and author affiliations of papers published in these journals since 1990.


Law Journals: Submissions and Rankings 2003- :  Washington and Lee University School of Law


APA Journal Statistics and Operations DataProvides manuscript rejection rates, circulation data, publication lag time, and other statistics for journals indexed in the American Psychological Associations databases.



Researcher metrics

In addition to simple citation counts, more sophisticated measures of researcher impact have been devised.  Each has their own advantages and limitations. These are some of the more commonly used measures, but many more have been proposed.

H-index Measures productivity and impact. An index of h means that your h most highly-cited articles have at least h citations each.  It doesn't factor in the length of a researchers career, self citations, and ignores order of authorship. Average impact scores vary widely from discipline to discipline.  It has been the most widely used index, but others have been created to address potential weaknesses, including:

The hi-index (AKA individual h-index) takes number of co-authors into account. Your hi-index is equal to your h-index divided by the average number of authors on the articles in your h core.

The hc-index (AKA contemporary h-index) weights newer articles more heavily than older articles, which allows a clearer picture of more recent levels of productivity and impact.

The m-index takes differences in career length into account, by dividing your h-index by the number of years that you have been publishing.

G-index The g-index gives added weight to highly cited papers, unlike the h-index. An index of g means that your most highly-cited articles together have at least g-squared citations. Your g-index will always be equal to or greater than your h-index.

i10-index:  Developed by Google Scholar, it's the number of publications with at least ten citations.