Updates for two popular publication metrics: CiteScore & Journal Impact Factor

Updates from two major academic publishers, Elsevier and Clarivate, are available for their signature publication metrics. These metrics attempt to calculate the influence and importance of a journal based on how many others have cited articles from that journal. The updates reflect citation information gathered through 2019.

Clarivate’s Journal Impact Factor (JIF) can be found using the Journal Citation Reports database available from the Scott Library. In their announcement, Clarivate reminds us that the JIF has been controversial in the past, and that decision-makers should take care to use it as it was designed to be used, “in journal selection . . . collection development . . . and understanding communication patterns among journals.”

Elsevier’s CiteScore metric can be found through the Scopus database. Their update is more significant because the company has changed how the CiteScore metric was calculated. According to an announcement, the methodology has been updated to address several prior concerns about the metric. Among the changes: only peer-reviewed publication types are included in calculations (not editorials, news items, etc.) improving comparisons between journals, and CiteScore values will now be displayed to one decimal place, not two, to avoid the impression of unwarranted precision.

Learn more about these metrics by visiting the Journal Evaluation Guide on the Library’s website. It explains how these metrics differ from each other and discusses concerns the academic community has articulated about the use of journal-level metrics.

If you have further questions about using metrics to evaluate journals and scholarly research, please contact the Scott Memorial Library’s AskALibrarian service.