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Research impact guide: Journal metrics

Journal metrics

There are a number of different kinds of journal metrics. It is important to note that there is a trend away from using journal impact measures as a proxy measure of impact for the publications within and towards article level metrics.

The three most common metrics used are:

Journal Impact Factors (JIF)

  • Trademarked product of Thomson Reuters and associated with Web of Science
  • The JIF is the average number of times articles from the journal, published in the past two years have been cited in the JCR year
  • Detailed information on how JIFs are calculated is accessible within the JCR: Journal Citation Reports database. Note: the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) have explicitly stated they do not want JIFs included in grant applications


  • SNIP and SJR journal metrics are accessible on Scopus
  • The SJR (SCImago Journal Rank) is a ranking of publications by weighted citations per document. It is a prestige metric based on the idea that ‘all citations are not created equal’
  • With SJR, the subject field, quality and reputation of the journal have a direct effect on the value of a citation
  • SNIP (Source Normalized Impact per Paper) measures contextual citation impact by weighting citations based on the total number of citations in a subject field. The impact of a single citation is given higher value in subject areas where citations are less likely, and vice versa
  • Detailed information on how SNIP and SJR values are calculated is available within Scopus


  • The Eigenfactor™ Score and Article Influence™ Score use citation data to assess and track the influence of a journal in relation to other journals
  • Based on an academic research project from the University of Washington, these measures use a different calculation to assess journals within Web of Science
  • It is also accessible through the JCR: Journal Citation Reports database


Journal impact measures are used to evaluate the calibre of the publication outlet your research is appearing in. Three of the most common metrics are Journal Impact Factors (JIF), SJR and SNIP and Eigenfactor.

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