|What is Journal Citation Reports?
For each year, there are two editions:
Science Edition – Over 8,000 journals in >170 subject categories
Social Sciences Edition - Over 2,600 journals in >55 subject categories
JCR covers journals indexed in the ”Science Citation Index Expanded” (SCI) and the ”Social Sciences Citation Index” (SSCI), the 2 journal citation indexes in “Web of Science” (WoS). However, JCR does not provide citation figures for journals indexed in the ”Arts and Humanities Citation Index” (A&HCI).
How to access JCR?
Access Journal Citation Report via this link: Journal Citation Reports
Note that JCR is also accessible as part of Web of Science – select “Journal Citation Reports” from the tool bar at the top of the screen
Select the edition you want (“Science” or “Social Sciences” Edition). Then, select your search option:
Refer to the quick links under the “JCR search guides & tutorial” box on the right to access the search guide and tutorial to learn more about using JCR.
How to identify top journals in a subject discipline?
Aftering logging in JCR (or from the “Welcome” page), select your desired edition and year. Then choose to view a group of journals by subject category.
To select more than one subject category, use the “Ctrl” key. Then select “View journal data”. A list of journals in your selected categories will then be displayed.
Sort the list by “impact factor” so that journals with the highest impact factors will appear at the top.
What are “Impact Factor” (IF) and other JCR metrics?
Other JCR metrics:
Click a journal name in JCR to view detailed citation data of the journal.
The value of an Impact Factor itself does not show you the relative importance of a journal. Instead, you have to compare the Impact Factors of journals in the same field to identify a journal’s impact.
The Quartile in Category or the Quartile Score, on the other hand, shows the relative location of a journal along the range of an Impact Factor distribution.
To view the Quartile Score of a journal, from a journal record, click on the button under “Journal Information”. Then you will see a table showing the ranking of this journal in its subject catagories based on Impact Factor.
The journal “Fuel Cells”, for example, ranks 18th out of 79 in the “Energy & fuels” category. It falls into the highest quartile (Q1) in this category and is among the top 25% of the IF distribution. In the “Electrochemistry” category, this journal ranks 8th out of 26 journals, a mid-high position, Q2, which donotes between top 50% and top 25% of the IF distribution.
Q3 denotes a middle-low position (top 75% to top 50%), and Q4 bottom position (bottom 25% of the IF distribution).
Some limitations of JCR Impact Factor
JCR Impact Factor has a long history of over 30 years and is still the most popularly used journal measure. However, it has its limitations:
You should therefore realize these limitations and use IF with caution.