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Research Metrics Toolkit

Journal Impact Metrics


  • Developed to measure the impact of a journal, usually based on a combination of citations accumulated to articles published in the journal over a period of years, and the number of citable articles published by the journal during that time. Journal impact metrics are released yearly, based on data from preceding years.

  • Key indicators include:

  1. Journal Impact Factor (JIF) published by Clarivate Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters).

  2. SCIMago Journal Rank (SJR) published by SCIMago and Elsevier using data from Scopus.

  3. CiteScore published by Elsevier using data from Scopus (introduced in late 2016).


  • To demonstrate the prestige and impact of a journal, and rank journals.


  • Academic promotions, grant applications, resume, when developing a publishing plan (researchers)

  • When evaluating a journal purchase or subscription (libraries)


  • Journal impact metrics represent the citedness of a journal, and don't necessarily indicate the quality or impact of an individual article published within that journal.

  • Journal impact metrics are produced using different datasets and methodologies, each indicator may place or rank a journal differently.

  • Metrics are only provided for journals within a particular source - not every journal will be indexed in every source.

  • Metrics are updated every year.

Common tools


How to: Find journal impact metrics

Journal Citation Reports - Finding a journal's impact factor

  1. Access Journal Citation Reports from the Library website.

  2. Locate the Master Search Box in the top left hand corner, and begin typing the name of the journal.

  3. Select the journal from the suggestions drop down menu.

  4. The Journal Impact Factor can be found in the Key Indicators table.

  5. Metrics for each year that the journal has been included in the Web of Science Core Collection database will be available, along with a range of Impact Factor variations.

SCIMago Journal Rank (SJR) - Finding a journal's SJR

  1. Access the Scimago Journal and Country Rank website at

  2. Enter the journal title, ISSN, or publisher name in the search box and hit enter.

  3. Click on the title of the correct journal in the results list.

  4. The SJR can be found in the SJR graph box - hover your mouse over the graph to see the SJR value for each year.

  5. Additional journal metrics, such as journal H-Index, quartile rank within categories, and citing information is also available.

CiteScore - Finding a journal's CiteScore

  1. Access the website

  2. Locate the Search Titles box, or use any of the filters to reduce the list of journals.

  3. The current CiteScore is available from the results list record for each journal, in the first column to the right of the journal title.

  4. Click on the journal title for more information including historical CiteScores, trends, and the CiteScore tracker.