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Research metrics and publishing: Journal Impact Factor / Journal Rank

Key journal metrics

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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.

In addition, researchers may wish to contact their Faculty's Research Office for advice on recommended journals in their discipline.

Indicator Details Use this indicator when ...

Journal Impact Factor (JIF)

Based on Web of Science
citation data

Calculated annually

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

screenshot of the impact factor calculation

  • calculated annually
  • proprietary resource, accessible via Library website (Incites Journal Citations Reports)
  • in Web of Science, access JIF from the article record by clicking View Journal Information
  • you want to determine quality based on Journal Impact Factor or journal ranking 
  • a publication is indexed in Web of Science

JIF cannot be used to compare across different disciplines











Based on Scopus citation

Calculated monthly

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.


screenshot of the citescore calculation

  • All types of documents (conference proceedings, letters etc.) are included in the CiteScore calculation rather than just research papers and reviews
  • CiteScore rankings and CiteScore percentile metrics are also available
  • CiteScores freely available, underlying data only for Scopus subscribers


  • you want to determine quality based on CiteScore
  • a publication is indexed in Scopus
  • you want to include a range of documents
  • you want an alternative to JIF

SJR SCImago JournalRank

Based on Scopus citation

Scimago Journal Rank (SJR) is a ranking based on the transfer of prestige from one journal to another

  • 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
  • free resource available at
  • also accessible within Scopus - click Compare Journals on the Scopus home page
  • a Journal Impact Factor is not available, and a publication is indexed in Scopus
  • you want to account for prestige of citing journals
  • investigating across different fields
SNIP (Source Normalized Impact per Paper)

Based on Scopus citation data
  • SNIP is the ratio of a source's average citation count per paper and the 'citation potential' of its subject field
  • allows direct comparison of sources in different subject fields
  • publications are indexed in Scopus
  • you want to account for variations in citing patterns within disciplines
  • investigating across different fields

Discipline specific journal rankings

Journals included in the following lists are considered to be of a high standard:

Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences

Business, Economics, Tourism