Database of the Month: Journal Citation Reports (JCR)

Tregoning, J. (19 June 2018). How will you judge me if not by impact factor? Nature, 558 (7710), 345. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-05467-5

Anyone who has ever submitted an article for publication has no doubt heard the phrase Impact Factor, but do you know what an impact factor is, how it is calculated, and where you can get it? Journal Citation Reports (JCR) answers these questions. Launch video tutorial, Journal Citation Reports: Impact Factor, or read on.

JCR calculates and provides the impact factor for thousands of scholarly journals, helping you identify the top-tier journals in your field. JCR allows you to evaluate and compare journals using citation data drawn from approximately 12,000 scholarly and technical journals and conference proceedings from more than 3,300 publishers in over 80 countries. Of note: 2017 JCR journal data was just added.

Key features and metrics in JCR allow you to:

  • Focus on desired subject categories, enabling you to review journal titles and key performance indicators in the category.
  • Compare multiple journals based on a chosen indicator.
  • Evaluate the performance of journals in which you or your organization has published research.
  • Recognize trending journals in key research categories.
  • Identify the ideal journal in which to publish your forthcoming research.

By selecting the categories of Business and Business & Finance, the below listing is generated.

JCR journal category search

As you can see, the Journal of Management ranks 2nd in these categories with an impact factor of 7.733.

A journal’s Impact Factor is calculated by dividing the number of citations in the JCR year (2016) by the total number of articles published in the two previous years (2014 & 2015).

Clicking on the hyperlinked Journal of Management in the listing gives us even more Key Indicators and trend data over time:

JCR key indicators for the Journal of Management

Other impact and influence metrics included in JCR:

  • Eigenfactor score (a measure of the overall value provided by all of the articles published in a given journal in a year)
  • Article Influence score (a measure of a journal’s prestige based on per article citations and comparable to Impact Factor)
  • Most highly cited journal in a field

More information about Impact factor, and other metrics is available under Help in the Glossary – A to Z area.  Launch video tutorial, JCR on InCites: Quick Tour, to view a brief overview of this database.

Connect to This Database

JCR is available from the Databases A to Z listing.


Database of the Month provides a very brief introduction to useful library databases, highlighting key features you should know about. If you would like more information about this resource (or any of the library’s databases), please contact us for research assistance. If you would like a demonstration of these resources for a class, please schedule a research instruction class using the instruction request form.