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July 3, 2007

Check the Impact Factor of Your Favorite Journal!

The latest edition of Journal Citation Reports (2006) is now available at

JCR provides the Journal Impact Factors, a frequently cited and touted measure of the supposed importance or worth of a journal. Both the Science and Social Science versions of the JCR are available at the University of Illinois; for comparison, we have JCRs back to 1998.

The 2006 impact factors are calculated from the average number of times articles from the journal published in the past two years have been cited by in articles published in journals monitored by Thomson/ISI in their Web of Science product during 2006. The Impact Factors are available for most of the over 8000 journals currently indexed in ISI/Thomson's Web of Science product. It's important to note that the only journals that are said to be citing a particular article are those 8000+ journals that are monitored by Thomson/ISI.

An example of how an impact factor is calculated:

Cites in "all" 2006 articles to articles published in this journal in:
2005 = 236
2004 = 321
Sum: 557

Number of articles published in this journal in:
2005 = 79
2004 = 61
Sum: 140

Impact Factor Calculation:
Cites in 2006 journals to recent (2004-2006) articles / Number of recent articles published
= 557/140
= 3.979

Note: Thomson/ISI is now calculating impact factors for quite a few open access journals. Among the highest ranked are two PLoS journals: 14.1 for PLoS Biology (14.7 in 2006); 13.8 for PLoS Medicine (8.4 in 2006). At least eighteen BioMed Central (BMC) journals also have impact factors.

Posted by Katie Newman at July 3, 2007 10:31 AM