Understand journal metrics before you submit

When deciding where to submit your manuscript, it’s important to understand common journal metrics to help you decide which journal is right for your research.


Below, we’ve listed some of the most common journal metrics. The “JCR Year” refers to the Journal Citation Report year, which is the individual year for which a metric is provided.


Metric Name

Metric Source

Metric Description

Impact Factor

Web of Science

The Impact Factor is the average number of times articles from the journal published in the past two years have been cited in the JCR year. The Impact Factor is calculated by dividing the number of citations in the JCR year by the total number of articles published in the two previous years.

5-Year Impact Factor

Web of Science

The 5-year Impact Factor is the average number of times articles from the journal published in the past five years have been cited in the JCR year. It is calculated by dividing the number of citations in the JCR year by the total number of articles published in the five previous years.

Altmetrics

(Any source)

Altmetrics go beyond more traditional citation metrics to measure social visibility around scientific articles. These metrics are based on a broad spectrum of indicators, such as tweets, blog mentions, news media, social bookmarking, article views, and downloads.

Eigenfactor

Web of Science

The Eigenfactor is based on weighted citations in the JCR year to papers published within the previous 5 years. Citations are weighted according to the prestige of the citing journal, with citations from highly ranked journals making a larger contribution to the Eigenfactor than those from poorly ranked journals.

Google Scholar Metrics

Google Scholar

The main Google Scholar journal metric is the H5 index and is based on articles published in the last 5 complete calendar years. This is similar to the h-Index but also includes the top cited h articles (h-core) and the median of the citation counts (h-median).

h-index

Web of Science, Google Scholar, or Scopus

The h-index attempts to measure the productivity and citation impact of the published body of work of an author. The h-index indicates the number of papers, h, that have been cited at least htimes (e.g. an h-index of 15 means that 15 papers have been cited at least 15 times each.) Note: Due to variations in citation coverage between databases, each source may determine a different value of the h-index for each author.

Immediacy Index

Web of Science

The Immediacy Index is the average number of times an article is cited in the year it is published. The Immediacy Index is calculated by dividing the number of citations to articles published in a given year by the number of articles published in that year.

SJR

Scopus

The SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) Indicator is based on weighted citations in Year X to papers published in the previous 3 years. Citations are weighted by the prestige of the citing journal, so that a citation from a top journal will have more impact than a citation from a low-ranked journal.

SNIP

Scopus

The Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) measures average citations in Year X to papers published in the previous 3 years. Citations are weighted by the citation potential of the journal’s subject category, thereby making the metric more comparable across different disciplines.