Use research (or publication) metrics when applying for a grant or promotion. Measures include citation metrics, journal quality indicators, benchmarking, altmetrics and collaboration.

3. Journal quality

Consider journal quality when you:

  • want to publish
  • choose what you will read or cite
  • are evaluating your overall publication metrics.

Multiple indicators of journal quality have been established by various organisations, some of which are discipline specific.

No single number will give the complete picture. Always use journal impact measures with other metrics.

Journal quality indicators

Indicator  What determines this indicator When to use this indicator

Journal impact factor

Find via Journal citation reports 

  • Based on Web of Science
  • Calculated by citations received in the year from articles, reviews and proceedings papers published in the previous 2 years
  • Updated yearly

Watch Using Web of Science to find Journal Quality (YouTube, 2m19s)

Publications indexed in Web of Science

Cannot be used to compare across different disciplines

Journal Citation Indicator (JCI)

Find via Journal citation reports

  • Based on Web of Science
  • The value of the JCI is the mean Category Normalised Citation Impact (CNCI) for all articles and reviews published in the most recent three years (e.g. a value of 1.0 means that across the journal, published papers received a number of citations equal to the average citation count in that category)
  • Updated yearly
  • All Web of Science Core Collection journals are eligible for the JCI (including Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) and Arts & Humanities Citation Index (AHCI))

Publications indexed in Web of Science

The normalisation steps make it more reasonable to compare journals across disciplines, but careful judgement is still required (e.g. shouldn’t compare journals in arts & humanities to those in sciences)
Citescore
  • Based on Scopus
  • Citations received in the previous year from all documents (articles, reviews, conference proceedings, editorials, errata, letters, notes and short surveys) published in the previous 3 years
  • Updated yearly

Watch Scopus Tutorial: CiteScore metrics in Scopus (YouTube, 3m7s)

Publications indexed in Scopus

Cannot be used to compare across different disciplines

SNIP (Source Normalized Impact per Paper)

Find via Sources in Scopus

  • Based on Scopus    
  • Calculated by citations received in the year from articles, reviews and conference papers published in the previous 3 years
  • Normalised to local citation environment
  • Learn more about SNIP in Scopus

Engineering, Computer Science and Social Science disciplines

Journal rank is not important

Investigating across different fields

SJR (SCImago Journal Rank)
 
  • Based on Scopus    
  • Citations are weighted on the prestige of the issuing journal
  • Calculated by citations received in the year from articles, reviews and conference papers published in the previous 3 years
  • Normalised to citation behaviour in different subject areas
  • Limited self-citations (up to 1/3 or total received) 

Life and Health Science disciplines

In fields where the best journals cover the most topical research

Investigating across different fields

Eigenfactor
  • Based on Web of Science and Journal Citation Reports    
  • Citations from highly cited journals influence the score more than citaions from lesser cited journals
  • Excludes self-citations
  • Calculated by citation received in the year from publications in the previous 5 years
Established researchers with publications indexed in Web of Science

Journal listings

Business, Economics, Tourism

The ABDC Journal Quality List is targeted at the business discipline in Australia.

Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences

Science and Engineering

The CORE Rankings Portal is targeted at the computer science discipline ranking conferences and journals in Australia.

Contact your liaison librarian for expert advice.

Learn how to track and measure your own metrics with the Metrics for grant or promotion applications online tutorial.

 

  Next steps

Use metrics to provide evidence of: