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Citation Analysis

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Journal Impact Factor

cited references journal rankings impact factor

What is the Impact Factor?

Created by ISI (the Institute for Scientific Information, now known as Thomson Reuters), the Impact Factor is the most widely-recognized method for attempting to gauge a journal's rank/importance.  It is particularly well-known in the Sciences and Social Sciences.

The impact factor is based on two figures:  the number of citations to a given journal over the previous two years (A) and the number of research articles and review articles published by that journal over the same two-year period (B), so:

          A/B = Impact Factor

Note that there is a discrepancy between the type of content counted for each factor: A = any type of content (including letters, news items, etc.), but B = research or review articles only, making the Impact Factor not a true average.

For more complete information on impact factors see Assessing Journal Quality

Where to Find It

Find the Impact Factor for your journal using the various resources listed below.  Impact factors are also usually listed on individual journal publisher pages.

Google Scholar Metrics

Google Scholar Metrics (GSM) allows one to gauge the visibility and influence of recent articles in scholarly journals. Particularly interesting is GSM’s listing of the top business & management  publications  ordered by their five-year h-index and h-median metrics. 

Be sure to also look at the subcategories:

Eigenfactor Score and Article Influence Score

Like the Impact Factor, the Eigenfactor® Score and Article Influence® Score use citation data to assess and track the influence of a journal in relation to other journals. The Eigenfactor Score calculation is 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.


The Article Influence determines the average influence of a journal's articles over the first five years after publication.  It is calculated by dividing a journal’s Eigenfactor Score by the number of articles in the journal, normalized as a fraction of all articles in all publications.  The mean Article Influence Score is 1.00. A score greater than 1.00 indicates that each article in the journal has above-average influence. A score less than 1.00 indicates that each article in the journal has below-average influence.