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The University of Iowa Libraries


Scholarly Impact: Journal Metrics

What are Journal Metrics?

Journal metrics, like Impact Factor, are used to find citation trends and patterns within journals and subject fields.  Journal metrics can be used to:

  • evaluate the impact of a journal within its field
  • select highly-cited journals for manuscript submission
  • assist in determining an author's impact

Understanding Journal Acceptance Rates

Identifying the acceptance rates of journals can be very helpful when deciding where to publish your research and throughout the promotion and tenure process.  Each journal publication has their own way of calculating the acceptance rate, whether it uses the total number of manuscripts received or total number of manuscripts reviewed by editors.  No matter what the method may be, journal publications with low acceptance rates are considered to be more prestigious.

Methods of locating a journal's acceptance rate:

  • Sometimes journals will include this data in the information for authors page of websites or print publications
  • Professional societies or associations may share the acceptance rates of journals within their discipline
  • Contact the editor of the journal for the specific acceptance rate

Determining a Journal's Impact

Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports (JCR) is the official source of Journal Impact Factors™. It is published annually in two editions, Science and Social Sciences. JCR also provides additional journal metrics. For more information, see Information for New Users or visit Hardin Library's help sheet.  

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR)  This tool uses Scopus journal information to allow users to search and analyze journal and country rankings.

InCites This is a citation-based evaluation tool for academic and government administrators to analyze institutional productivity and benchmark output against peers and aspirational peers in a national or international context. You can also use InCites to see individuals' research output.

Eigenfactor  Scientific journals are rated by the number of incoming citations, where citations from more highly ranked journals make a greater contribution to the eigenfactor than citations from more poorly ranked journals.  The score was developed at the University of Washington by Jevin West and Carl Bergstrom.

European Reference Index for the Humanities  ERIH is developed by and for European-language researchers. 

Google Scholar Metrics explore publications by subcategories. Journals are ordered by their five-year-h-index and h-median metrics. Click here to see the top 100 publications. 

Harzing's Publish or Perish  The software program uses Google Scholar to retrieve and analyze academic citations to present statistics on citations, journal metrics, and author metrics. by Red Jasper (must be used with Firefox or IE 6.0 or below)  This interactive journal ranking tool allows scholars to configure ranking interests and evaluate a journal’s impact.

Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP)  Using the Scopus database, SNIP is “ calculated as the number of citations given in the present year to publications in the past three years divided by the total number of publications in the past three years.”  For more information, see CWTS Journal Indicators.

Elsevier CiteScore Metrics This is another tool available through the Scopus database, this focusing on journal level metrics. Simply click on a journal's name in Scopus to access the CiteScore set of metrics.