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Scholarly Metrics for UVM Faculty: Journal-Level Impact Metrics

Traditional Journal Level Metrics

Journal-level metrics evaluate the influence or impact of a publication (an entire journal) by looking at how many times articles within the publication have been cited. The measures below examine this citedness in different ways. Traditionally, the frequency of citations of articles within a publication then contributes influence, importance, and/or prestige to the publication as a whole. 

Questions? Ask a librarian! We are happy to help navigate these metrics and other concerns related to scholarly publishing.

Journal Impact Factor

Journal Impact Factor (JIF) is a metric found in Journal Citation Reports - a part of the Web of Science Interface. 
Journal Impact Factor is:
  • The total number of citations in the past two years ÷ number of articles published by that journal in the past two years.  (Avg. # of times an article published in that journal has been cited).
  • There is a 2 year look-back.   2016 Impact Factors are based on data from 2015 & 2014.
  • Data is based on articles indexed in the Web of Science database.
  • SCImago also calculates this number and calls it "Cites / Doc 2yrs," based on the Scopus database

Watch a short tutorial on how to find a Journal Impact Factor for a given journal.

H-Index (H5, H10)

H Index, or Hirsch Index is used heavily in Google Scholar Metrics.   H-index can be used to assess both journal publications and individual scholars.
(Hirsch) H-Index is:
  • The H-index of a publication or scholar is the largest number h such that at least h articles were cited at least h times each. 
    • As an example, let's say a scholar has published 6 articles in the past five years.  The first article was cited 17 times, the second article 10 times, the third 3 times, and the fourth, fifth, and sixth articles were only cited 1 time.  To find H-index, the scholar might ask him or herself, "Has one article been cited at least once?  Yes - continue.  Have two articles been cited at least twice?  Yes - continue.  Have three articles been cited at least three times?  Yes - continue.  Have four articles been cited four times?  NO - only three publications have been cited three or more times, so the author's H-index is 3.
    • A publication would undergo the same type of questioning to find H-index, "Does this publication have 60 articles that have been cited 60 times?  Yes, continue.   Does this publication have 61 articles that have been cited 61 times....."
    • The theory behind H-index is that it assesses impact based a continued high rate of citation.  A scholar cannot have a high H-index with one big article nor can they have a high H-index with lots of publications that get no notice.  That said, H-index is still susceptible to self-citation and other criticisms made of traditional impact factors.
  • H5 includes a 5 year look-back, H10 includes a 10 year look-back.
  • H Index data in Google Scholar is based on items indexed by Google Scholar.
  • Set up a Google Scholar profile in order to automatically calculate your own H-Index in Google.

SCImago Journal Rank

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) can be found at:
SCImago Journal Rank is:
  • A complicated algorithm to assess not only the number of citations but the “prestige” of the journals issuing those citations.
  • SJR data is based on articles indexed in the Scopus database, a competitor to Web of Science.
  • SJR is similar to “EigenFactor” in ISI Journal Citation Reports
  • SCImago also calculates "Cites / Document  2yrs" which is similar to ISI's Journal Impact factor, but based on the Scopus database.