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Scholarly Communications

Journal Ranking

The resources outlined on this page will assist in locating quantitative data for assessing journal quality. Note that such tools tend to be more useful for publications in natural and social sciences.

Differences Across Disciplines

Journal impact factors change over time. They also differ greatly from one field to another. For example, Althouse and Bergstrom (2008) show that 2004 weighted impact factor for mathematics journals was 0.56; for molecular and cell biology it was eight times as high, 4.76.

Disciplinary differences in impact factors have to do with varied citation practices across fields, discipline-dependent lag times between publication and citation, as well as the discipline-specific number of citations an average article includes.

Althouse, B. M., West, J. D., Bergstrom, C. T., & Bergstrom, T. (2009). Differences in impact factor across fields and over time. Journal Of The American Society For Information Science & Technology, 60(1), 27-34.

Alternatives to Scopus

City Tech does not have access to SCOPUS. However, you can search the freely available Journal Metrics database that relies on journal data indexed by Elsevier (the company that owns SCOPUS). To get information on your journal, enter its title in the search box.

Alternative Sources

City Tech does not have Journal Citation ReportsIt can be accessed at some other CUNY libraries

Journal Citation Reports The number of articles published in journals indexed by the Web of Science and the number of citations to individual journals. This information may be viewed by journal name, subject, publisher, and country or territory. Be sure to choose science or social sciences before selecting a subject. For more information on how to use the database, see this University of Michigan guide or this tutorial. Free and searchable, this database covers the natural and social sciences and "lists newsprint, PhD theses, popular magazines and more." The Eigenfactor is also included in Journal Citation Reports (see above).

SCImago Journal & Country Rank A freely accessible web-based portal that derives its rankings of journals based on data from Scopus® database (since 1996).

International and Other Journal Rankings

ERIH (The European Reference Index for the Humanities) is a reference index created and developed by European researchers

ERA (Excellence in Research for Australia) is an ongoing initiative. Its tasks include the development of Ranked Journal List and Ranked Conference List.

Law Journal Submissions and Rankings

JCR Journal Impact Factor: Strengths and Limitations


  • offers a global picture of internationally influential journals
  • is recognized in the community of scholars
  • relies on a simple calculation
  • widely available and has been employed for many years
  • particularly helpful in estimating the recent performance of a journal


  • impact factor was never intended to measure the performance of individual researchers and papers
  • not sufficient to capture how influential a journal is
  • relies on a skewed distribution, or the 80/20 rule: a small percentage of the papers accounts for a very large portion of the influence
  • review journals have an advantage over non-review journals
  • impact factors vary across disciplines and cross-field comparisons are not possible

Pendlebury, D. (2009). The use and misuse of journal metrics and other citation indicators. Archivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis, 57 (1), 1-11.