Skip to Main Content

Research metrics and publishing: Journal Impact Factor / Rank / Quartile

Key journal metrics

Journal metrics allow researchers to rank or compare journals through the use of citation data. Key journal metrics such as JIF (Journal Impact Factor) are commonly used by authors to guide decisions about which journals to aim for when submitting articles for publication. Journal Quality Lists may also have been compiled in some disciplines based on field reputation and/or citation data. See the information at the bottom of this webpage for more on journal lists.

Journal Impact Factor (JIF), rank and quartile

Journal Impact Factor is calculated annually for all journals indexed in the Web of Science Core Collection. It is a proprietary metric available via Web of Science or from the Journal Citation Reports database.

Journal Impact Factor = the number of times that articles published in the previous 2 years have been cited in the year of reporting, divided by the number of citable items.

Journal Impact Factor cannot be used to compare journals across disciplines as disciplinary citation rates differ. For this reason the JIF Rank or JIF Quartile may be more meaningful metrics, unless you are familiar with what constitutes a high JIF in a particular category. For example, the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society has a JIF of 7.538 and the the Annals of Surgery has a JIF of 13.787. However both are Q1 journals that rank second in their respective categories (Gerontology and Surgery).

For recent changes to JIF, see Unveiling the Journal Citation Reports 2023

SJR Scimago quartile

SCImago JournalRank (SJR) is a ranking calculated annually for journals indexed in Scopus database. Calculations are similar to those of Journal Impact Factor but are normalised for fields that don't cite much, and citations are weighted on the prestige of the citing journal. For this reason the Scimago quartile can often be higher than the JIF quartile for the same journal.

Scimago is a free resource available at

Use Scimago when a JIF is not available, or when investigating across different fields and a publication is indexed in Scopus.


CiteScore is calculated monthly based on Scopus citation data. CiteScore differs from other calculations in that it includes all types of documents (conference proceedings, letters etc.) rather than just research papers and reviews.

CiteScore = the number of times documents published in the previous 3 years have been cited in the year of reporting, divided by the number of documents.

Use CiteScore when you need an alternative to JIF, or you want to include a range of documents that are indexed in Scopus.


SNIP (Source Normalized Impact per Paper) is the ratio of a source's average citation count per paper and the 'citation potential' of its subject field. SNIP is based on Scopus citation data and allows direct comparison of sources in different subject fields.

Use SNIP when you want to account for variations in citing patterns within disciplines or are investigating across different fields, and publications are indexed in Scopus.

Discipline specific journal rankings / quality lists

Journals included in the following lists are considered to be of a high standard. In addition, researchers may wish to contact their Faculty's Research Office for advice on recommended journals in their discipline.