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EDUC 542 - Research Methods in Education

Why do we need to evaluate journal quality?

Assessing the academic quality of a particular journal or article is important.  It can:

  • Help you determine the scholarly worth and relevance to your research. 
  • Affect where you choose to publish your own research.

The JCR "impact factor" historically has been the main factor used to judge the relative importance of a journal in its field.  However, because the index is based on only publications indexed in Web of Science the validity of this measurement is being disputed particularly in non-scientific fields and we are now seeing the other "impact" factors being published.

What is the Journal Citation Reports "Impact factor?"

The JCR Journal Impact Factor is the average number of times articles from a journal published in the past two years, indexed in the Web of Science, have been cited in the JCR year.  For example:

  • An Impact Factor of 1.0 means: on average, articles published in a journal one or two year ago have been cited one time.
  • An Impact Factor of 2.5 means: on average, articles published one or two year ago have been cited two and a half times.  

(from the Thomas Reuters site http://admin-apps.webofknowledge.com/JCR/help/h_impfact.htm)

Find a Journal's "Impact"

How do I find a journal's "impact" factor?

Search for the published "impact" factor(s).

  • Use the links below to find different "impact" factors for a journal, including the JRC Journal Impact Factor. 
  • Go to the journal's web site. Many journals publish their impact factors on their web site.

Are there other ways to evaluate "impact?"

Since one of the main criteria for calculating "impact" is the number of times articles from a journal are cited.

Use Publish or Perish to analyze academic citations

Publish or Perish is a a software program that retrieves and analyzes academic citations. It uses Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic Search and provides a variety of metrics. 

For more informaion: http://www.harzing.com/pop.htm