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. Off campus users need to first create an account on campus and access their account on- or off-campus at least once every 60 days for it to stay activated.

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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.

Database of the Month: InCites Journal Citation Reports

How to find journal relationships in InCitesTM Journal Citation Reports®
from Web of Science

InCitesTM Journal Citation Reports® (JCR) measures research influence and impact at the journal and category, or academic subject, levels and shows the relationship between citing and cited journals. In addition, the JCR® now includes an interactive graphic showing the relationship between citing and cited journals making it easier to visualize the strength of that relationship.

Here is a step-by-step guide to finding the relationships between journals in Journal Citation Reports®

  1. Choose Journal Citation Reports® (JCR) from the list in Databases A to Z.
  2. On the Web of Science page, click Journal Citation Reports® at the top of the page.
    JCR1
  3. Type the title of the journal you would like to compare with other journals in the box under Go to Journal Profile and click the search icon.
    JCR2Within the Journal Profile you will be able to:

    • Sort journal data by clearly defined fields: impact factor, immediacy index, total cites, total articles, cited half-life, or journal title
    • Sort subject category data by fields such as, journal title, impact factor, JCR year, and publisher
    • Determine the cited half-life of a journal in a given JCR year
    • Determine how many citations a journal received in the JCR year (Cited Journal Data) and how many citations a journal made to other journals (including itself) in the JCR year (Citing Journal Data)
    • Graphically visualize displays of the citing or cited data relationships between the parent journal and the top twenty journals in its field
    • Link to Ulrich’s Global Serials Directory to find detailed information about the journal’s language of text, content type, abstracting & indexing coverage, online availability, audience and reviews.

     

  4. Let’s take a look at Cited Journal Data (inbound citations) and Citing Journal Data (outbound citations) to establish the relationship of the journal, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, to other journals in its subject areas through citation patterns and distribution.

    JCR3Click on Cited Journal Data – the Cited Journal Graph shows the distribution by cited year of citations to articles published in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

    JCR4
    The top (yellow) portion of each column indicates journal self-citations: citations from articles in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology to articles in the same journal.

    The bottom (orange) portion of each column indicates non self-citations: citations from Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology to articles in other journals.

    On the Cited Journal Data table, journals that cited Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology in a given JCR year are listed in order of occurrence.

    JCR5
    The table above shows that in 2014, the journal PLOS One cited sixty-two (62) articles published in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology in 2011.
  5. Now let’s look at the Citing Journal Graph. The Citing Journal Graph shows the distribution by cited year of citations from articles in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. All of the citing articles were published in the JCR year.
    JCR6
    The top (yellow) portion of each column indicates journal self-citations – citations from articles in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology to articles in the same journal.

    The bottom (orange) portion of each column indicates non-self-citations – citations from Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology to articles in other journals.

    The Citing Journal Data table reveals a journal’s subject specialty, points to its closest peer or competitor publications, and highlights the network of journals within a particular field or fields. Citing Journal Data table identifies those publications that were most frequently cited by Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology for a given year – outbound citations.

    In this table, the citing journal is Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, and all of the citing articles were published in 2014. The journals cited by articles in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology are listed in the Cited Journal column.
    JCR7

  6. Web of Science has made it easy to visualize the relationships between journals and their subject categories through its Journal Relationships link.
    JCR8
    On the Journal Relationships diagram, the top twenty cited or citing journals are displayed as arcs on the circle. The size of each arc is indicative of the relative citation relationships to that journal. The thickness of the chords connecting the arcs is demonstrative of the strength of citation relationship between the journals. The Journal Relationships diagram includes several interactive features:

    • Hover over arcs to display the journal Impact Factor;
    • Hover over over chords to display the citation relationship to the parent journal;
    • Click the title of any journal in the arc to go straight to that title’s profile page;
    • Click the title of any journal in the arc to go straight to that title’s profile page;

     

  7. Let’s select Cited Data from the drop down arrow next to the word Data to find the top 20 journals that have the strongest relationship to Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. The chords, connecting the citing journals, display the number of contributed citations. Click on another journal arc to reveal connections between that journal and others within Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology relationships. The widest arcs represent the strength of the relationships. The wider the arc, the stronger the relationship between journals.JCR9

    In the example above, the journals Animal Behavior and PLOS One each contributed a high number of citations to Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology than other journals in this network. Hovering over the chord between these connected journals will reveal the number of citations in the connection.

    Hovering over the citing journal’s arc in the circle will reveal a journal’s impact factor. For example, the Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, a citing journal, has an impact factor of 4.823.

    A journal’s impact factor (JIF) is an indicator of the importance of a journal to its field. The higher the impact factor, the greater the perceived importance of the contribution this journal – and in turn, its related journals – has on its academic or research fields.

Learn More

To learn more about what InCitesTM does and does not do, go to Angela Cochoran’s Interview with Thomson Reuters: InCites Platform Offers New Analytics and Transparency at The Scholarly Kitchen.


Database of the Month provides a very brief introduction to library databases and selected web resources, highlighting key features of the database that you should know about.  If you would like assistance using this database, please schedule a research consultation using this form. For more information about the library’s databases contact the Reference Desk

Database of the Month: Journal Citation Reports (JCR)

Anyone who has ever submitted an article for publication in an academic journal 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 go to find a journal’s impact factor?  The Journal Citation Reports (JCR) answers those questions. JCR calculates and provides the impact factor for thousands of scholarly journals, helping you identify the top-tier journals in your field.

Understanding & Using Journal Impact Factor

JCR allows you to evaluate and compare journals using citation data drawn from 9,100 scholarly and technical journals from more than 2,200 publishers in over 78 countries. It includes all areas of science, technology, and social sciences.  JCR is published in two editions – JCR Science Edition and JCR Social Sciences Edition. JCR complements the Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) and Science Citation Index (SCI) databases.

Authors can use impact factor to identify the most appropriate, influential journals in which to publish, while students and researchers may use impact factor to discover the most important journals in a field.

“The journal 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.”

A screenshot from the JCR

Other Metrics Included in JCR

JCR also includes the following impact and influence metrics:

  • 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, Eigenfactor and Article Influence scores can be found in the Help section of the JCR database.  For a great explanation of what the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) is and is not, I recommend reading

Holsapple, C. W. (2009). Journal Self-Citation II: The Quest for High Impact — Truth and Consequences?. Communications of AIS, 25, 11-19.

Connect to This Database

Journal Citation Reports (JCR) is included in the Library’s ISI Web of Knowledge subscription databases – Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) and Science Citation Index (SCI).  Access JCR here, or by selecting Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) or Science Citation Index (SCI) from the Databases page. Once in SSCI or SCI, click on the “Additional Resources” tab to get to the JCR Collections.

For additional faculty resources, see Nick Albaugh’s Publishing Resources for Faculty library research guide.

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Database of the Month provides a very brief introduction to an important research database, highlighting key features of the database that you should know about. If you would like more information about this database (or any of the library’s databases) please contact the Reference Desk.  If you would like a demonstration of this database for a class, please contact our Coordinator of User Education, Elizabeth Galoozis.