Author & Article Impact

Article & Author Impact

Journal Rankings & Evaluation

Journal Metrics

Journal metrics are used to identify key journals in a research field.  This identification may be most useful to authors who are considering which journals to submit manuscripts to for future publication.

The Impact Factor may be the most familiar metric in academics. Eugene Garfield of Thomson Scientific first introduced this idea in the 1950s. Impact Factor calculations are now available through Thomson’s Journal Citation Reports (JCR) and the Elsevier product, Scopus.

Despite their merits, journal metrics can be misused for evaluating individual authors. Altmetrics is an alternative for measuring scholarly impact. Altmetrics measures the use of social media tools such as bookmarks, links, blog postings, and tweets to gauge the importance of scholarly output by authors. Using altmetrics as a measure of scholarly impact is controversial as social media tweets and mentions can be gamed by authors.

Journal Evaluation Resources

Conducting Literature Reviews

Scholars will often publish journal articles that evaluate the top ranked journals in their discipline. Conduct a search in a large interdisciplinary database such as Proquest Social Sciences Premium Collection or Ebsco's Academic Search Premier using keywords such as "top journals" or "highly ranked journals" and the field. For example, you could search in Academic Search Premier using the terms "top ranked journals" and "economics". You can also select a narrower subject specific database such as EconLit.  Alternatively search across a number of different databases for full-text articles using the Google Scholar search option.


Defining Altmetrics

The term "altmetrics" (alternative metrics) is used to describe approaches to measure the impact of scholarship by using new social media tools such as bookmarks, links, blog postings, inclusion in citation management tools, mentions and tweets to measure the importance of scholarly output.

Proponents of altmetrics believe that using altmetrics will help measure the impact of an article in a more comperhensive and objective way than was done with more traditional scholarly impact measures such as journal impact factor.  However, there are limits to this approach and caution should be used to not rely on any one particular measure in evaluting the importance of scholarship.


Visualization Software

Free Software for Visualizing Citations

Statements on Responsible Research Metrics