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Caveats About Journal Impact Factors
When using journal impact factors, please note:
- These are journal-level metrics, and should not be used to measure impact or influence of authors, institutions, or articles.
- Review journals often have higher journal impact factors.
- Do not compare journals from different categories. The journal with the highest 2016 impact factor in economics is 6.662, while the highest for nanoscience/nanotechnology is 38.986.
- Web of Science only calculates these for the science, engineering and social science journals indexed in their database. So many journals will not have journal impact factors, including new journals not yet added to Web of Science, as well as arts and humanities journals (even those indexed in Web of Science).
Ranking journals in JCR
Journal Citation Reports (or JCR) is a product of ISI Web of Knowledge and is an authoratative resource for impact factor data. This database provides impact factors and rankings of many journals in the social and life sciences based on millions of citations. It offers numerous sorting options including impact factor, total cites, total articles, and immediacy index. In addition, JCR provides a five-year impact factor and visualized trend data.
Journal Citation Reports - more on search customizations
Journal Citation Reports (JCR) generates journal impact factors (along with other citation data) from more than 12,000 journals and conference proceedings in the sciences and social sciences indexed in Web of Science. You can search by title, or select a subject category to get a sortable list.
You can customize the indicators to include:
- Immediacy - average number of times an article is cited in the year it is published
- 5 year Impact Factor - average number of times articles from the journal published in the past five years have been cited in the JCR year
- Impact Factor Without Journal Self Cites - Impact factor without journal self-citations (references to articles published in the same journal).
- Eigenfactor Score - based on the number of times articles from the journal published in the past five years have been cited in the JCR year, but it also considers which journals have contributed these citations so that highly cited journals will influence the network more than lesser cited journals. Excludes journal self-citations.
- Cited Half-Life - median age of articles that were cited in the JCR year.
- Citing Half-Life - median age of articles cited by the journal in the JCR year.