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Measuring Your Research Impact

Overview of Journal Impact Measures

Journal impact metrics attempt to quantify the importance of a particular journal in its field.  Algorithms usually account for:

  • Number of articles published per year
  • Number of citations to articles published in that journal  

In the box below are descriptions of the more common journal impact metrics and tools used to find the them.

Remember that these measures have limitations.  While these metrics do tell us something, researchers in a discipline will have the best sense of the top journals in their field.

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You can access Journal Citation Reports (or JCR) via Web of Science. Published annually and based on millions of citations, JCR provides a number of journal impact measurements for journals in the sciences and social sciences.

Reported metrics in the Journal Profile include but are not limited to:

  • Impact Factor
  • 5-year Impact Factor
  • Immediacy Index
  • Eigenfactor Metrics

With JCR, you can:

  • Use numerous sorting options, including total cites and total articles
  • See visualized trend data
  • See which items contribute to the Impact Factor
  • See which geographical regions and organizations responsible for the content influencing the journal's performance

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For more information on Journal Impact Factor, see the video below. More tutorials by Web of Science Training about JCR features can be found on YouTube.

With this approach, journals are considered to be influential if they are cited often by other influential journals. 


A journal's Eigenfactor score is intended to:  

  • Reflect the influence and prestige of journals in the scientific community.  
  • Help capture the value of publication output vs. journal quality (i.e. the value of a single publication in a major journal vs. many publications in minor journals).

Scores are scaled so that the sum of all journal scores is 100.  (In 2006, Nature had the highest score of 1.992.)

Article Influence Score

An article's Influence Score:

  • Measures the average influence, per article, of the papers published in a journal.
  • Is calculated by dividing the Eigenfactor by the number of articles published in that journal.

The mean Article Influence Score is 1.00.  A score greater than 1.00 indicates that the journal article hasabove-average influence.

Advantages of Eigenfactor/Article Influence Score:

  • Can be accessed for free.
  • Includes a built-in evaluation period of five years.
  • Attempts to give a more accurate representation of the merit of citations than do raw citation counts.

Disadvantages of Eigenfactor/Article Influence Score:

  • Eigenfactor assigns journals to a single category, making it more difficult to compare across disciplines.
  • Some argue that Eigenfactor score isn't much different than raw citation counts (see this blog post, for example).

Below is an example of the Eigenfactor and Article Influence Scores for a few journals.  You can search the Eigenfactor Website to find the scores for journals of interest.

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Google Scholar Metrics allows authors to view journal rankings and ratings by various h-indeces.  Journal ranking can be viewed for the top 100 publications in 9 different languages, or by broad subject research areas and numerous subcategories. Scholar Metrics uses those articles published between 2009 and 2013 and citation from all articles indexed in Google Scholar.