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Research Impact Metrics


What are journal-level metrics? Why track at this level?

Journal-level metrics measure the impact, reach, or prestige of a journal. Journal-level metrics are designed to measure the aggregate impact of publication as a whole and should not be used as proxy metrics for authors who publish in a particular journal.

Examples of journal metrics

  • Impact Factor—a measure of the average number of citations received by recent articles in a journal
  • Additional JCR Metrics—Journal Citation Reports (JCR) publishes several metrics based on Web of Science citation data
  • Acceptance rate—the percentage of submitted articles that a journal accepts for publication; used to evaluate a journal's selectivity
  • h-index—a measure of the influence of either a journal or an individual scholar that accounts for both productivity and impact

Citation Data Sources

Web of Knowledge

The library's main sources for citation metrics are Web of Science and Journal Citation Reports. Both are included within Web of Knowledge, a collection of databases published by Clarivate Analytics.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar records citation data and metrics at the article, author, and journal level. The primary journal-level metric that Google Scholar reports is the h5-index (a variation on the h-index using publications from the last five years only). Google Scholar Metrics ranks top publications by h5-index within selected language and field.

Comparison table

  Impact Factor Additional JCR Metrics  Acceptance Rate H-index
What does it measure? How frequently recent articles in a journal are cited A variety of metrics based on Web of Science Citation Data A journal's selectivity A journal's influence that accounts for productivity and impact (also used for author-level metrics)
How is it calculated? The number of citations received in the current year by articles published in the last two years divided by the citable articles published in the past two years See the Additional JCR Metrics page for details on each metric  The percentage of submitted articles a journal accepts for publication Publications are listed by number of citations in descending order. The value h is equal to the number of h papers that have h or more citations. 
Where do I get it? Journal Citation Reports Journal Citation Reports  MLA Directory of Periodicals and APA Journal Statistics and Operations Data Google Scholar, Web of Science (Note: Do not compare h-indexes derived from different sources.)


Science Librarian

Brent Tweedy's picture
Brent Tweedy
Bizzell Memorial Library 235
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