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Journal Analysis: Macdonald-Kelce Library

This guide reviews ISI Web of Science, Ulrichsweb Global Serial Directory and Cabell's Directory.

Understanding A Journal's Impact

Understanding a journal's impact can help researchers find the best journals to place their work. It can also help direct students and faculty to the top journals in their field for research.

Journal rankings and impact factors are quantitative measures for journal evaluation, within its field or discipline. Interdisciplinary journals may have rankings in more than one field.

In general, the number of citations within a certain time period drive a journal’s impact factor, conferring an importance to the research published within. But it’s important to remember that although it might seem as if some of the methods of evaluation are an exact science, recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of each tool gives a broader view of a particular journal and its performance.

Keep in mind:

  • Impact factors vary greatly among different disciplines
  • Impact factors measure journals, not articles, and do not necessarily reflect the quality of any given article
  • Controversial, questionable, or even retracted articles can be heavily cited
  • Colleagues and scholars might cite themselves and each other to increase visibility
  • Review articles and editorials can sometimes be heavily cited (as opposed to original research)
  • It takes time to build an impact factor: new journals will not have high citation rates, no matter the quality
  • Very subject specific journals may not have high impact factors, even if they are well respected within their narrow field
  • Sometimes journals and articles of quality are not recognized on the scale that they deserve
  • Trust yourself, your colleagues, a respected mentor, professor, etc. in making decisions about whether or not to use an article in your research, or submit your work to a journal
  • And you can always ask a librarian for help!

Citation Impact

Citation impact quantifies the citation usage of scholarly works.[1][2][3][4][5] It is a result of citation analysis or bibliometrics. Among the measures that have emerged from citation analysis are the citation counts for an individual article, an author, and an academic journal (from Wikipedia).

Altmetrics

In scholarly and scientific publishing, altmetrics are non-traditional metrics[2] proposed as an alternative[3] to more traditional citation impact metrics, such as impact factor and h-index.[4] The term altmetrics was proposed in 2010,[1] as a generalization of article level metrics,[5] and has its roots in the #altmetrics hashtag (from Wikipedia).

Reference Librarian

Shannon Spencer's picture
Shannon Spencer
Contact:
Macdonald-Kelce Library, RM 155
813-257-3847
Website / Blog Page

Journals at the Macdonald-Kelce Library