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Research impact for Education: a self-help guide

Journal-level metrics

Take care not to use journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors, inappropriately or as a surrogate measure of the quality of individual research articles, to assess an individual scientist’s contributions.

While there is often a relationship between journal ranking metrics and perceived quality, a high number of citations do not necessarily translate into high quality and at the same time the impact of a noted article cannot always be paralleled by the ranking of the journal it is published in. For more on this, refer to the Measuring your Research Impact (MyRI) Bibliometrics Tutorial, module 3.4 on Journal Metrics, Issues and Limitations.

Journal Indicators

Journal performance metrics are taken from different sources and are based on different algorithms covering different base data-sets. When journals are compared with journals in a field very different in terms of citation behaviours this could skew the data considerably. 

Below we list the main journal indicators currently being used to assess where to publish. Be more cautious when using these indicators as part of grant proposals. When deciding to include them, check the respective grant guidelines first and state clearly the source of the journal indicator included in the proposal.

While the Journal Impact Factor (and similar journal level indicators listed below and elsewhere) tend to focus at the journal level,to provide a probable indicator at which level and article published in that publication may perform, --it is better to evaluate the actual performance of a specific article within the publication.

The Journal Impact Factor

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