Find what you need in the searchable FAQs from WKU Libraries
What is a journal impact figure?
The impact factor is a measure normally based on the frequency with which the average article in a journal has been cited in a particular year. It is used to help scholars decide on the best journals in which to publish their work, and to help readers and researchers discern the relative importance of journals within their fields.
How can I find an impact factor for a journal?
Unfortunately, WKU Libraries does not currently have access to Journal Citation Reports, the best-known source for journal impact factors. There are, however, several other sources of impact factors, mostly free. Here are a few of the most popular:
The Eigenfactor score, developed by Jevin West and Carl Bergstrom at the University of Washington, is a rating of the total importance of a scientific journal based on the number of citations, weighted by the ranking of the citing journal. Many scholars regard it as a more robust measurement than those provided by Journal Citation Reports. The Eigenfactor website allows you to search by journal title, category, and year.
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR indicator) is a free online resource providing a measure of scientific influence of scholarly journals that accounts for both the number of citations received by a journal and the importance or prestige of the journals where such citations come from. SJR Indicator’s database of journal rankings is searchable by topic, journal title, and country of publication.
Google Scholar Metrics provide an easy way for authors to quickly gauge the visibility and influence of recent articles in scholarly publications. To access, go to the Google Scholar page and click the “Metrics” link at the top of the page. Google Scholar provides the following metrics:
Not to be outdone, Microsoft created Academic Research in response to Google Scholar, and has added a journal ranking system based on the number of times a journal has been cited in the last 5 or 10 years.
Cabell's is a database offering useful descriptions of the leading journals in a number of specific fields, such as business and eduction. Most of the journal descriptions in Cabell's include the impact factors from Journal Citation Reports. WKU provides access to a number of the modules available through Cabell's, though not all. Check the Cabell's database to see if it covers topics in your field.
Cabell's Directories offers information about a number of the leading journals in specific fields, such as business, education, and others. Most of the Cabell's journal descriptions include the JCR impact factors.