Cited Reference Searching & Journal Rankings: Journal Rankings and Impact Factors

How to locate articles and other documents that have cited a previously published document. Also how to determine where a journal is ranked in relation to others in its field.

Journal Citation Reports: Impact Factors

InCites Journal Citation Reports (JCR), accessed via the Libraries' Databases lists or via a link at the top of Web of Science search screen includes data that can be used to evaluate and compare over 8000 scholarly journals in the sciences & technology, and 2600 in the social sciences. It can be used to show the:

  • most frequently cited journals in a field
  • highest impact journals in a field
  • related journals in a field
  • citation characteristics for a subject category.
  • detailed citation, impact and ranking data on individual titles

JCR publishes two editions, the Science Edition and the Social Sciences Edition.  Both are updated annually.

Perhaps the most frequently requested information from JCR is a journal's impact factor which represents the number of times the "average article in a journal has been cited in a particular year."  It is calculated by dividing the number of times a journal is cited in the JCR year, by the number of articles published in the journal in the previous two years. For more information on impact factors and how to search and use JCR, view the Journal Citation Reports subpage at left.

SCImago Journal & Country Rank

SCImago provides journal and country rankings developed using information from the Scopus database.  It can be searched by subject area and category, country, or by individual journal title.  The SJR (SCImago Journal Rank) Indicator, developed from the algorithm Google PageRank,  "expresses the average number of weighted citations received in the selected year by the documents published in the selected journal in the three previous years."  The intent of the SJR is to reflect both the quantity and quality of citations.  Weighting reflects the subject field, as well as the quality and reputation of the journal.  Click here for a detailed explanation of how the SJR is determined.

A complimentary site, the SCImago Institutions Rankings (SIR) project, "is a Research Evaluation Platform and Ranking Generator to analyze research outputs of universities and research-focused institutions. The SIR platform aims at designing analytical tools to help institutions monitor and assess their research outcomes and make decisions to improve their research performance and funding opportunities."


Web of Science also includes h-index numbers which are intended to reflect the impact and relevance of an individual author's research.  The h-index reflects the number of papers by an author as well as their impact or times cited.  Calculation of the h-index factor is based only on items in Web of Science - books and articles cited in journals not covered by WoS are not included.  It is also limited by the depth of Marquette's Web of Science subscription which begins with 1980.  Papers published prior to that time will not be included in the calculation.

For more information on h-index and how to calculate it in Web of Science, view the H-Index subpage.

Eigenfactor Scores

Journal Citation Reports (JRC) also provides Eigenfactor scores for journals beginning with 2007.  This score is based on the number of times articles published in a journal in the last five years are cited in the current JCR year.  Unlike the impact factor, the Eigenfactor score eliminates journal self-citations, counts citations to journals in both the sciences and social sciences, and "weights each reference according to a stochastic measure of the amount of time researchers spend reading the journal."