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What is Impact Factor?

The impact factor (IF), also named as Journal Impact Factor (JIF) is a metric used to evaluate the importance of a Journal. It is determined by calculating an average number of citations received by the selected articles in that journal within the last few years.

It is proposed by the founder of the Institute for Scientific Information, Eugene Eli Garfield and is being regularly calculated beginning from 1975 for all the journals registered in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR).

For a given year, the Journal's IF is computed as the number of cites, received in that throughout the year, of the scientific articles or papers published in that particular journal during the two previous years, dividing it by the number of articles published in that journal in the previous two years.years.

It helps to measure the relative importance of journals within particular areas and to compare the journals within the same areas. The higher the JIF, the better it is ranked. Typically, journals with more review articles or papers are able to achieve higher JIF.

How it is calculated?

The calculation of IF is based on a period of two years and computes as dividing the number of times articles published in that journal were cited by the total number of articles which are citable.

$IF_x = \frac{Citations_{x-1} + Citations_{x-2}}{Publications_{x-1} + Publications_{x-2}}$

For an example, to find the impact factor of a "ABC" journal for the year 2019, we would compute:

$IF_{2019}= \frac{Citations_{2018} + Citations_{2017}}{Publications_{2018} + Publications_{2017}}$

For example, if the Journal have the following citations and publications value:

Citations2018 = 80
Citations2017 = 60
Publications2018 = 30
Publications2017 = 40
IF2016= (80 + 60) / (30 + 40) = 2

This value of IF indicates that, on an average, the articles of "ABC" Journal published in the years 2017 and 2018 have approximately received 2 (two) citations each in the year of 2019.

It is important to note here that the 2018's IF is published in the year 2019. It cannot be computed until all publications in the previous year of 2018 are processed by the indexing agency.

How do I find the impact factor of a journal?

The impact factor of a journal is calculated by dividing the number of current year citations to the source items published in that journal during the previous two years. It is denoted as a ratio between citations and recent citable items published.

You can either refer to the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) or the Scopus® database to find the impact factor of the journal. The data from the Scopus® database can also be found at resurchify.com. You can find the impact factor of thousands of journals on this website.

To search the impact factor of any Journal or Conference, you can query by its title or ISSN. You can also query using the publisher's name or by subject category in the search box and can select the required journal. You can also check in detail analysis (like five years average, highest impact in the last five years, etc.) of a particular item, by clicking on the same.

All these details will be helpful when you want to select a journal or assess the quality of a journal.

Importance of Impact Factor

Impact factor gives the approximate idea about how prestigious a particular journal is in its field.

The higher the IF of the journal, the better it is ranked. By using this metric you can basically evaluate and compare the journals in similar subject categories to identify their importance.

What is a high impact factor?

Impact Factor is a measure of the importance of a journal. The impact factor (IF) is a measure of the yearly average number of citations to recent articles published in that journal. It is often used to compare journals of the same category. Higher the Impact factor, higher is the ranking of the journal.

But do not take this number as an absolute measure. It should be used to compare the journals withing a single discipline. For example, an Artificial Intelligence journal's Impact Factor cannot be compared with a journal from the Management domain.

One of the events that took place in the year 2017 is illustrated here. The news suggests that the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) database tracked all impact factors for more than 12000 journals. It was found that approximately only 1.9% of the journals had a 2017 impact factor of 10 or higher. The top 5% of journals had impact factors approximately equal to or greater than 6.

Data Source and Statistical Analysis

We perform various analysis on the data produced by SCImago.

The SCImago Journal & Country Rank is an openly accessible portal which covers the journals and scientific indicators generated from the data present in the Scopus® database (Elsevier B.V.).

Scopus database includes the information of more than 15,000 journals from different fields from around 4,000 publishers and also covers around 1000 open access journals

We perform statistical impact analysis for various journals and conference to evaluate their impact trends. You can find here the average impact index for the last three and five years. We also present here the highest (best) and lowest (worst) impact for the last few years. To show the variation of impact data over years, we compute and show the standard deviation.

The above metrics help you to better correlate and judge the impact of any particular journal/conference. We perform all the analysis on Cites/Doc. (2 Year) metric. Also known as impact index.

Categories and Areas Covered

We cover the impact and detailed analysis of almost all the major areas and disciplines. We covered the following categories:

Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Environmental Chemistry Geology Otorhinolaryngology Small Animals Oncology (nursing) Pharmacy Pediatrics Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology Management of Technology and Innovation Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine Mathematics (miscellaneous) Emergency Nursing Public Administration Complementary and Manual Therapy Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Pharmaceutical Science Gerontology Health Professions (miscellaneous)

Sociology and Political Science Occupational Therapy Embryology Epidemiology Water Science and Technology Drug Discovery Food Animals Anthropology Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous) Issues, Ethics and Legal Aspects Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics Biochemistry Visual Arts and Performing Arts Internal Medicine Artificial Intelligence Cognitive Neuroscience Critical Care Nursing Review and Exam Preparation Paleontology Radiological and Ultrasound Technology Social Sciences (miscellaneous) Astronomy and Astrophysics Pharmacology (nursing) Management Information Systems Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine Developmental Biology Mechanical Engineering Cultural Studies Complementary and Alternative Medicine Nature and Landscape Conservation Hardware and Architecture Analysis Aging Pharmacology Radiation Neurology (clinical) Atmospheric Science Cancer Research Analytical Chemistry Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous) Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous) Ophthalmology Biological Psychiatry Emergency Medical Services Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous) Equine Developmental and Educational Psychology Insect Science Global and Planetary Change Fuel Technology Nurse Assisting Urban Studies Rheumatology Nuclear and High Energy Physics Environmental Science (miscellaneous) Applied Psychology Architecture Assessment and Diagnosis Advanced and Specialized Nursing Rehabilitation Safety Research Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis Leadership and Management E-learning Surgery Human Factors and Ergonomics Classics Nursing (miscellaneous) Health Information Management Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience Chiropractics Immunology and Microbiology (miscellaneous) Respiratory Care Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous) Toxicology Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials Behavioral Neuroscience Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality LPN and LVN Dentistry (miscellaneous) Dental Hygiene Structural Biology Statistical and Nonlinear Physics Political Science and International Relations Virology Materials Chemistry Electrical and Electronic Engineering Chemistry (miscellaneous) Aerospace Engineering Strategy and Management Marketing History Environmental Engineering Veterinary (miscellaneous) Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Reviews and References (medical) Library and Information Sciences Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Transportation Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine Energy (miscellaneous) Process Chemistry and Technology Neurology Maternity and Midwifery Clinical Biochemistry Genetics (clinical) Materials Science (miscellaneous) Forestry Education Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Statistics and Probability Geometry and Topology Archeology Signal Processing Plant Science Pollution Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health Medicine (miscellaneous) Colloid and Surface Chemistry Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous) Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law Nutrition and Dietetics Logic Clinical Psychology Periodontics Oral Surgery Molecular Medicine Genetics Condensed Matter Physics Economic Geology Soil Science Biomaterials Neuroscience (miscellaneous) Community and Home Care Animal Science and Zoology Modeling and Simulation Life-span and Life-course Studies Reproductive Medicine Health Informatics Family Practice Mathematical Physics Information Systems Anatomy Medical and Surgical Nursing Computational Mathematics Energy Engineering and Power Technology Sports Science Geography, Planning and Development Nuclear Energy and Engineering Literature and Literary Theory Acoustics and Ultrasonics Horticulture Surfaces and Interfaces Aquatic Science Urology Information Systems and Management Developmental Neuroscience Care Planning Media Technology Electrochemistry Management Science and Operations Research Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous) Computer Networks and Communications Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health Polymers and Plastics Drug Guides Communication Biomedical Engineering Speech and Hearing Filtration and Separation Computer Science Applications Hematology Demography Health (social science) Instrumentation Infectious Diseases Psychiatric Mental Health Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology Cell Biology Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology Mechanics of Materials Obstetrics and Gynecology Food Science Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Imaging Pharmacology (medical) Pathology and Forensic Medicine Numerical Analysis Sensory Systems Immunology and Allergy Applied Mathematics Endocrine and Autonomic Systems Gender Studies Histology Microbiology Dermatology Space and Planetary Science Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design Psychiatry and Mental Health Dental Assisting Social Psychology Hepatology Computer Science (miscellaneous) Law Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation Agronomy and Crop Science Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment Earth-Surface Processes Accounting Orthodontics Immunology Oncology Philosophy Museology Algebra and Number Theory Ecological Modeling Psychology (miscellaneous) Biotechnology Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous) Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty Religious Studies Computers in Earth Sciences Finance Microbiology (medical) Development Experimental and Cognitive Psychology Language and Linguistics Parasitology Organic Chemistry Ecology Geochemistry and Petrology Archeology (arts and humanities) Research and Theory Decision Sciences (miscellaneous) Fundamentals and Skills Inorganic Chemistry Nephrology Civil and Structural Engineering Human-Computer Interaction Automotive Engineering Building and Construction History and Philosophy of Science Linguistics and Language Engineering (miscellaneous) Molecular Biology Economics and Econometrics Waste Management and Disposal Industrial Relations Chemical Health and Safety Software Oceanography Social Work Computational Theory and Mathematics Health Policy Medical Terminology Business and International Management Physiology (medical) Ceramics and Composites Podiatry Ocean Engineering Conservation Endocrinology Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Control and Optimization Geriatrics and Gerontology Control and Systems Engineering Spectroscopy Biochemistry (medical) Geophysics Medical Laboratory Technology Metals and Alloys Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management Biophysics Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes Multidisciplinary Transplantation Optometry Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous) Music Catalysis Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine Stratigraphy Bioengineering Emergency Medicine Gastroenterology Surfaces, Coatings and Films Physiology Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics Medical Assisting and Transcription Computational Mechanics Theoretical Computer Science

Years Covered

So far, we have covered our impact factor analysis for the years 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013. However, we will update soon all our analysis for the year 2019 also, once the data is available.

Top Journals and Conferences in the Related Fields

We also provide the expert suggestions for top journals and conferences which are in related fields or in same categories. This will help you to find out other top journals and conference opportunities where you can submit your research paper or article to showcase the quality of your work.

Importance of choosing Journals with High Impact Factor and Important Suggestions

It is always advised to submit your articles into a journal with high impact factor in your field. This is to show the credibility and worthiness of your research articles and your work.

It is observed that most of the reviewers judge the quality of your articles based on the referenced journal articles. Therefore, it is always recommended to cite or refer the articles from the top journals (Which are basically the one having high impact factor)

Impact Factor Alternatives

Some of the other metrics which can help you judge the Journal impact are Citescore, h-Index, mention and share of Journal articles on social media, Downloads, Views, etc.

Citescore

Citescore is another commonly used metric used like an impact factor, to measure journal impact in Scopus. It measures a yearly average number of citations to recently published articles in that Journal. Citescore was launched in December 2016 by Elsevier.

CiteScore metric combines eight different indicators: CiteScore, CiteScore Percentile, CiteScore Rank, Citation Count, CiteScore Quartiles, CiteScore Tracker, Document Count and Percentage Cited.

Citescore Calculations

Citescore is defined as the ratio of the number of citations a journal receives in the latest four years (Including the year of calculation) to the number of publications (published documents) of that Journal in those four years.

Important Facts About Citescore

h-Index

The h-index is another way of measuring the productivity or impact of the Journal. The h-index is defined as the maximum value of h such that the given Journal has published h papers, and each of them is cited for at least h number of times in a specific time.

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR)

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) is another commonly used metric to measure the scholarly influence or impact of the Journal by accounting for the number of cites/citations and the prestige of the citing journals.

It is based on the concept called eigenvector centrality, which is commonly used in network theory. This metric is a size-independent measure that ranks journals based on their average prestige per article.

Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP)

Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) considers the weightage of the total number of citations received in a discipline while calculating a journal's impact. This method of impact calculation normalizes for differences in citation practices between fields so that a single citation is given greater importance or values where citations are less frequent or common in that field.

Unlike the well-known journal impact factor, SNIP corrects for differences in citation practices between scientific fields, thereby allowing for more accurate between-field comparisons of citation impact.


Pros and Cons of the Impact Factor

Pros of Impact Factor:

Cons of Impact Factor:


Related Indices Connected With Impact Factor

Some of the related values connected with the Impact Factor are as follow:

Immediacy index

It measures the average/expected number of times that an article/document, published in a particular year within the specific journal is cited over the course of the same year.

Cited half-life

Cited half-life counts the number of years going back from the current year that accounts for half the total citations obtained by the cited journal in the current year.

For example, if a cited half-life of a journal in 2006 is 6, that means the citations from 2002-2006 are half of all the citations from that journal and the other half of the journal's citations precede 2002.

Aggregate impact factor for a subject category

It is calculated by considering the number of citations to all the journals in a specific subject field and the number of articles from all the journals in that field.

Median impact factor

It is calculated by finding the median value of impact factors of all the journals in the subject area.

5 Year Impact Factor

It is similar to the Journal Impact Factor; however, the citations are counted to the previous Five years and again divided by the source items published in the last five years.

A base of five years may be more suitable for journals in certain disciplines because the body of citations may not be large enough or sufficient to take reasonable comparisons, publication schedules may be consistently late, or it may take lengthier than two years to disseminate and respond to published articles.

For example, Five-year Impact Factor: 32457 citations in 2012 to items published in 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007 /11648 items published in 2007-2011 = 2.786.

Ways to Increase Impact Factor of Your Journal

We have now understood the definition of the Impact Factor, its calculation method, the importance of the Impact Factor, and how to find it. Now, we will go through the ways through which we can increase the Impact Factor of a Journal.

Following are some ways that can help to increase the Impact Factor of a Journal. Some of these ideas are based on theory, some on practice and few on experience. These methods can help you get more citations for your journal, improve its quality and increase its prominence. 

Let us now scroll these go through these methods, and understand what they have in store for us.

Target the right audience

Designing the products keeping the intended target base in mind always helps. This method applies here also. If your articles or research topics have a dedicated area to focus on, chances of them being cited by the scientists increase. If the research area is vague and not specific, the researcher or scientist may not find anything of use. 

The focus might be on society, a particular group, scientists, teachers or anybody. Just remember to have a target audience.

Sometimes Peer-Review helps!

This is a known fact that if someone with a good reputation in your field gives a statement for your work, that work automatically gets few stars of appreciation. 

In the research field, work that is peer-reviewed often comes up with better quality. This work has gained more trust and hence, gets cited more.

Taking advantage of affiliations

Organizations or groups with innovative and diverse research topics, more originality, and a high number of publications are generally cited more than others. They have an excellent probability of showing up in the references thereby, increasing their citation.

If your journal doesn't belong to a very famous authority, one can try for affiliation with a known and reputed organization.

Add topic-wise description for quick scanning

A small description of the various headings like abstract, hypotheses, key findings and observations, inference, conclusion etc., will give an insight to the reader of the article. This will help in a quick scan of the article and increase its chances of getting cited.

Add a descriptive scope 

As stated earlier, if the title and scope are descriptive, readers tend to get a better understanding of the article. This will bring more traffic and increase the citation. 

By a descriptive scope, we mean that it should clearly define the area of the research and the methods that have been undertaken to come up with the research. 

Diversify your list of topics covered

A single topic may have many branches and sub-branches, giving rise to a diverse range of topics in that area. Sometimes, these ideas don't strike anyone, and this can be of much help if encouraged by telling them. This will attract more authors. The result will also be a diversified one.

Develop new article types to attract a diverse range of authors.

Keep flexible submission options

Also, if the submission is getting accepted in multiple formats, people tend to submit more. Sometimes, authors are not comfortable with a particular format and do not choose a journal for publication. If there is leniency in this, it can help.

Promotion of few articles might help

Advertisement and marketing is a key these days to reach more audience. Often articles that have been published long back might find their relevance in the present time. The editor or the committee should keep track of such topics and promote them. This will increase the citations of the article. One thing that this activity requires is time and effort from the team.

Make your articles easily reachable 

In today's scenario, where things are available easily, without much effort, if you ask for a lot of details or a heavy price from the readers, there are very few chances of your articles being cited by the authors. 

It takes few minutes for the author to scan an article and if there are fewer hindrances maybe, in terms of article fee or filling up details, the article will be read and cited more.

A journal can always have some free articles to attract readers and citations.

Be real! Show your true self

Few things cannot be pretended. They have to be real. For example, take the case of the affiliations of the journal, the deciding committee, the Editorial Board Members, Peer Reviewers. If these things are mentioned and include high ranking individuals, they will attract the authors to publish in your journal.

Keep your ethics and transparency high

A clean, ethical policy will always help in giving credibility to any organization. In this way, people trust your organization to submit their articles. There are organizations like the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) that help in improving the trustworthiness of a journal. Joining such a committee will boost your credibility.

Develop a Niche

In case your journal targets a specific set of authors, it is again very good. This way, you will attract a specific set of topics for the journal. There will be a niche in your journal, and unnecessary diversions can be avoided. Instead of a wide range of issues, a specific set will give your journal a reputation for that research area.

Flexible Review Process

The review process and schedule are a few of the main criteria for selecting a journal for publication. Sometimes, the publication is a part of their curriculum or their job, and it will then require a deadline. Also, few topics are relevant in the present time and may become outdated if they don't get a chance to get published. That is why there must be a quick and robust review system with a shorter turnaround time.

Keep user-friendly ads

Having advertisements is always a good income idea. But one thing needs to be ensured that it doesn't affect the user experience. The reader should not get distracted from the primary task, or the placement of the ads should be such that it doesn't disturb or irritate the reader.

Publish Review Articles

Review articles of good literature can help the authors quickly compare various types of research carried out. It might be of interest to them and thus, attract more citations. Also, articles having trending and good topics can be combined together and published. This will act as a one-stop point for the authors and readers to read, understand and cite.

Try using SEO in articles

One tool that helps you rank on top in search engine results is SEO (Search Engine Optimization). With this method, you can optimize your content, which will lead to more citations for your journal. Optimization of academic articles is called Academic Search Engine Optimization (ASEO). It ensures that the article is crawled and ranks high in search results.

These tips might be applicable to a few journals and might not work for a few. There is no compulsion to follow all the above-mentioned methods. Select what best applies to you. 

Our Attempt at this idea...

The ideas that we have mentioned here are based on our knowledge and experience. We are still learning and will continue to add on to this list as and when we come up with something new.

Quality of Journal Matters!