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Scholarly Communications

The scholarly communications and publishing ecosystem, including formats of academic literature (journals, monographs, edited collections), research impact, grants, copyright, Open Access, Open Educational Resources, and non-academic publishing.

Overview of Journal-Level Metrics

  • Journal-level metrics are all based off on number of citations to their articles, which are based off of datasets from citation-tracking tools such as Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar.
  • These metrics are used as proxies for the prestige and disciplinary importance of a journal. 
  • Journal-level metrics can be used to identify where to try to publish an article in order to maximize attention and likely citation. 
  • Journal-level metrics are often used in tenure, promotion, and evaluation to demonstrate the prestige of where the researcher is published. 
  • Issues with some journal-level metrics include difficulties in comparing between disciplines, differentiating between quantity and quality of citations, and dealing with incentives for journals to encourage authors to self-cite more articles in their journal to inflate the metrics. 

Acceptance Rates

  • Acceptance rates are the percentage of submissions that actually get published in a journal. Low rates are used as a proxy of prestige as the journal is more difficult to get published in. 
  • Different journals will use varying method for measuring their acceptance rate. 
  • University of Memphis does not have a source for checking acceptance rates.
  • To find acceptance rates, you might try to 
    • Check the journal's website, especially on About pages and pages about publishing with the journals.
    • Contact the journal's editor. 

Impact Factor - Journal Citation Reports

  • Journal Impact Factor (IF) is a measure of how often the average article from a particular journal is cited. The logic is that the more often the average article is cited, the more impactful the journal is. 
  • IF is tracked using citation data from Clarivate's Web of Science platform.
  • There are multiple versions of IF along with associated metrics built on it: 
    • 2-Year Impact Factor: the average number of times an article from the journal is cited over a 2-year period. The original IF measure.
    • 5-Year Impact Factor: the average number of times an article from the journal is cited over a 5-year period.
    • Immediacy Index: the average number of times an article from the journal is cited in the year it is published. 
    • Eigenfactor Score: calculated from article citations over a 5-year period, but it adjusts the score to value citations from other highly-cited journals more. Citations from articles in the same journal are removed to prevent bias towards journal self-citation. 
    • Cited Half-Life: average age of articles cited in that journal. The lower the number, the more citations are being made to more current articles in the journal. 
    • Article Influence Score: a way of measuring how influential a journal's articles are over their first five years since publication. Calculated based off the Eigenfactor Score: (Eigenfactor Score * 0.01) / # articles in the journal. 
  • IF can be found through the Web of Science and Journal Citation Reports databases.
    • The University of Memphis does not have a subscription to either database and instead subscribes to its competitor Scopus.
    • However, many journals do include their IF on their websites, often on the main page or an about page. 
    • You can also find Eigenfactor and Article Influence Scores freely available through the Eigenfactor Project.

CiteScore - Scopus

  • CiteScore is Elsevier's equivalent to Journal Impact Factor built on citation data from its Scopus database. 
  • CiteScore measures the average citations to an article in a journal over a full 3-year period. So the 2021 CiteScore covers 2018-2021. 
    • Scopus will also provide a tracking CiteScore for the current year that is updated monthly. So the 2023 CiteScore Tracker covers 2020 to the current month in 2023. 
    • CiteScore will also provide a journal's rank and percentile by discipline.  
  • Scopus also provides two other metrics build from its data. 
    • SCImago Journal Rank (SJR)
    • Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP): compares the actual citations received compared to the expected citations expected based on the journal's discipline. 

Finding CiteScore and Other Metrics in Scopus

Use the videos below for an overview of how to find CiteScore metrics. You will need to search for them using the Sources tab in the top of Scopus.

Scopus link labeled "Sources"

Overview of Journal Metrics 

How to look up journal metrics for whole disciplines. 

CiteScore Metrics

Looking up metrics for an individual journal. 

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR)

  • SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) is an impact measure built from Scopus data that takes the number of citations over a 3-year period and weighs them based on the citing journal, similar to the Eigenfactor Score.
  • Based on their SJR, each journal is given ranks based on Scopus-defined disciplines and subdisciplines and places into quartiles. 
  • Each journal also has an h-index.
  • SJR provides a number of ways to narrow down results for comparison. 
    • Journals can be limited to those that are Open Access, those in the SciELO Open Access network, and those indexed in Web of Science. 
    • You can look at journals by discipline and subdiscipline. 
    • You can also limit results by geographic region. 
    • Besides journal articles, SJR ranks book series, conference proceedings, and trade journals and lets you limit your results to any of these formats. 
  • Use the JSR help documentation to get started with identifying journal ranks. 

H-Index - Google Scholar

  • The h-index was originally designed as an author-level metric that has been adapted for journals.
  • The h-index is measured as the highest number of articles (h) published by a journal that have been cited at least (h) times. 
    • So an h-index of 50 means that a journal has 50 articles that have been cited at least 50 times. 
    • A higher number is more valuable as it shows more articles with more citations.
  • H-indexes can be limited by time period (hx-index) where x is a year range.
    • So an h5-index measures highest number of articles (h) published by a journal that have been cited at least (h) times over the last 5 years. 
  • Google Scholar uses its own citation data to rank journals by h5-index. 
    • You can limit publications based on journal category and subcategory as well as by journal language. 
    • Google Scholar also provides the h5-median, which is the median number of citations for the articles included in the h5-index. 
    • Clicking the h-index number will bring up all the articles included in the h5-index analysis and their citations.