Scientific journals foster the progress of science by publishing new research findings. However, there are thousands of such journals in publication and their quality differs. Therefore institutions, authors, readers and librarians need a reliable guideline to choose the right scientific journals to read, cite and stock in libraries.
Authors also need to know which is the most authoritative journal to publish their paper in. Funding bodies also require a trusted measurement in order to shortlist applicants with the most impressive publications for their research grants.
The pandemic has created severe challenges for scientists wanting to share their research findings, especially Covid-19 researchers. Scientific journals have stepped up to the plate by processing manuscripts as fast as possible, encouraging their peer reviewers to work quickly and creating new pools of scientists to prioritise coronavirus research, many making this research free to read. This has led to a rise in popularity of Open Access publishing models. Again, the quality of Open Access scientific journals varies, so it is even more imperative to ensure the high ranking of a journal and avoid poor quality publications by predatory publishers.
The Impact Factor (IF) is the oldest, most renowned and extensively used citation metrics, which assess an scientific journal’s importance and relevance to the academic community. IF is calculated by Clarivate and essentially measures how often articles in a journal are cited. The more the articles are cited, the higher the Impact Factor. In practical terms, the Impact Factor reflects the quality of a scientific journal and its popularity measured by the number of cited articles, which accounts for the reputation the publication has among the scientific community.
In June each year, the Web of Science Group, part of Clarivate, releases the annual Journal Citation Report (JCR). The JRC compiles citation-based journal metrics, which disclose the performance of scientific journals, in terms of their value within the academic community and their potential to communicate research findings to the largest audiences. This enables scholarly researchers, publishers, editors, librarians and funders to make confident decisions on which academic publications to consider stocking in the institutional libraries, which publications to cite or where to publish their manuscripts. Compiled by an international team of experts, this year’s JRC includes all the journal titles that have obtained the IF 2019.
The 2020 JRC includes over 12,000 journals, comprising 1600 open-access journals, from 83 countries across the world, spanning 236 research categories in sciences and social sciences. New additions include 351 journals, of which 178 are fully Open Access. Scientific journals are reviewed every year and titles that do not meet the required high standards are suppressed.
Across all the Sciendo’s indexed journals, the Impact Factor has increased on average 18% in the last year, with 11 journals improving by more than 20%. Among these journals, the best performer was Folia Horticulturae, which improved its Impact Factor by 245% and is a top ranked journal in Horticulture. Star performers in their discipline include: Annals of Animal Science, Autex Research Journal and Moravian Geographical Reports.
If you choose to publish your scientific journal with us, our Abstracting and Indexing (A&I) specialists will help you get and increase your journal’s Impact Factor by:
When your journal has been approved by Clarivate, our A&I experts will continue supporting editors in order to:
Examples of selection criteria your journal needs to meet to get an Impact Factor are:
This article is intended as a helpful overview of the importance of the journal Impact Factor. For more in-depth information, please contact a member of our team.