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Where to Publish & Journal Impact Factors

Where should I publish my research?

When deciding where to submit your research for publication you will need to identify the leading, high quality journals in your discipline. This can be done by:


Journal Citation Reports

What are Journal Citation Reports?

Journal Citation Reports (JCR) are compiled by Clarivate. There are two editions produced annually, based on the Science Citation Index and the Social Sciences Citation Index.Only titles included in these two indexes are included in JCR. Editorials, letters, news items and meeting abstracts are not included as generally they are not cited

Journal Citation Reports are made up of three statistical measures; Impact Factor, Immediacy Index, and Cited Half Life. These statistical measures allow the comparative ranking and evaluation for journals. They provide citation information about a journal, allowing journals to be ranked and evaluated. The information is provided in both graphical and tabular form. The statistical information retrieved includes: Impact Factor, Immediacy Index, Cited and Citing Half-Life, Total Citations, Cited journal information, Citing journal information and Journal Source Data.

What is the Impact Factor?

Measuring your research impact tutorial [MyRI Project]

The most commonly used statistical measure is the impact factor. The impact factor is a measure of the frequency with which the average article in a journal has been cited in a particular year. The impact factor can help you evaluate a journal's relative importance, especially when you compare it to others in the same field.

Calculating Impact Factors

"The value of the IF [impact factor] is obtained by calculating the number of times papers published in a specific journal over the previous 2 years were cited in other publications in the current year. This value is then divided by the number of publications that appeared in that journal over the same period of time. Thus, the IF of journal A in year Y would be determined by the formula:"

(Dong et al, 2005)

Researchers use them to: Inform decisions about where to publish, Discover new publications in a field,and Select journals to scan regularly for current awareness, While, university administrators and funding agencies use them to: Evaluate research output of individuals, departments and research units

Some issues with Impact Factors


  • Many journals are not included in the ISI citation indexes and therefore do not have an impact factor.
  • Some subject areas accept and assimilate new research rapidly. For example, biotechnology is an area where research moves quite quickly while pure mathematics research would be relatively permanent.
  • Journal Impact factors cannot assess the quality of individual articles in a journal. The impact factor of a journal title does not indicate how heaviliy individual articles in the title are used.
  • Only "citable" items, such as research articles, technical notes and reviews, are included in the impact factor. "Non-citable" items like editorials, letters, news items, and meeting abstracts are not included.
  • A small percentage of articles from a small subset of journals are highly cited. This small percentage accounts for a large proportion of the total citations.
  • Controversial papers may be highly cited resulting in a bias, distorting the impact factor.
  • Review articles and review journals may be cited more frequently than items which contain new concepts or research.
  • Journals published in languages other than English are less accessible to researchers worldwide and therefore may be cited less.
  • Title changes effect the impact factor. The old and new titles are not unified unless the title change is minor and does not change the title's postion alphabetically. There is a "Journal Title Changes" link on the following pages:
    • Journal Search
    • Journal Summary List
    • Marked Journal List
  • Self -citation may account for some of the cited references.

Essential Science Indicators

Essential Science Indicators - top papers by research fields. This another analytical tool available from Clarivate. It is based on the same data as the Journal Citation Reports. It provides access to a comprehensive compilation of science performance statistics and science trend data. Its main use is in tracking trends in research and performance. Examples include: Researcher ID, and Publish or Perish

There are four main sections:

Citation Rankings

Using total citation counts and cites per paper, rankings are determined for the most cited authors, institutions, countries, and journals.

Most Cited Papers

This analysis provides a collection of the most highly cited and hot papers.

Citation Analysis

This analysis tracks trends in current research.


These brief editorial discussions provide guidance on data analysis and interpretation.

Other Measures

There are other bibliometric measures used. Two of which are the h-index and the Eigenfactor.


The h-index allows an individual scientist's output to be quantified by determining the highest number of papers each researcher has published that receive the same number of citations. For example, a researcher with an h of 100 has published 100 papers, each of which has been cited at least 100 times. One of the strengths of the h-index is that it allows for the identification of researchers who publish important work in less-visible journals.


The EigenFactor is another alternative to journal impact factors. It is a free service and is calculated based on citations recieved over a five year period. It contains 115,000 items and ranks scholarly journals in the natural and social sciences, as well as newsprint, PhD theses, popular magazines and more. Another potential strength of Eigenfactor is that it attempts to allow for the fact that disciplines have different standards for citation and different time scales on which citations occur.

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR)

The SCImago Journal & Country Rank (SJR) is an open source portal that includes the journals and country scientific indicators developed from the information contained in the Scopus® database (Elsevier B.V.). The SJR indicator attributes different weight to citations depending on the "prestige" of the citing journal without the influence of journal self-citations; prestige is estimated with the application of the Google PageRank™ algorithm in the network of journals. The SJR is based on the number of connections that a journal receives through the citation of its documents divided between the total of documents published in the year selected by the publication, weighted according to the amount of incoming and outgoing connections of the sources.

See more details at:

Publish or Perish

Publish or Perish is a software program that retrieves and analyses academic citations. It uses Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic Search to obtain the raw citations, then analyses these and presents the following statistics:

  • Total number of papers
  • Total number of citations
  • Average number of citations per paper
  • Average number of citations per author
  • Average number of papers per author
  • Average number of citations per year
  • Hirsch's h-index and related parameters
  • Egghe's g-index
  • The contemporary h-index
  • The age-weighted citation rate
  • Two variations of individual h-indices
  • An analysis of the number of authors per paper.


Altmetrics are alternative measures of usage, and include mentions on Social Media, Share online etc. The concept has been around for 5+ years now, and is slowly gaining ground, especially with those who want to trace the impact of their writings on the social web. (Twitter, Mendeley, blogs etc. - shares basically). The argument is that online sharing does not invoke the same behaviours as traditional methods and consequently needs it's own set of metrics. There are different characteristics to the behaviours and these generate different data that that traditionally collated by impact factor generators, therefore creating the need for a new appriach to measuring impact > Altmetrics..
For example Elsevier clusters like kinds of activity for this type of reporting, rather then compressing all activities into one.


"Altmetrics are new metrics proposed as an alternative to the widely used journal impact factor and personal citation indices like the h-index. The term altmetrics was proposed in 2010,[1][2] as a generalization of article level metrics,[3] and has its roots in the twitter #altmetrics hashtag. Although altmetrics are often thought of as metrics about articles, they can be applied to people, journals, books, data sets, presentations, videos, source code repositories, web pages, etc.[4] Altmetrics cover not just citation counts, but also other aspects of the impact of a work, such as how many data and knowledge bases refer to it, article views, downloads, or mentions in social media and news media."
From & See more at;

Leaders in the field include

  • Altmetrics
  • Plum
  • PLOS (code)
  • Impact story .org (free (plugs into Google Scholar My Citations)

Some of these interact with other services such as Vivo, Profiles, SciVal, Experts, and Figshare.

Altmetrics are a way for crowd sourced / funded projects to measure their success in reaching their targets. They enable researchers to be able to assess whether they are reaching the right market / population with outreach and gives context to the research / paper.
  • Synergy Centre at ITT Dublin
  • QQI Brand Logo
  • Member of the Technological University for Dublin Alliance