Answered By: Elizabeth Galoozis Last Updated: Aug 13, 2015 Views: 321
The impact factor of a particular journal can be looked up through the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) database. You can access this database from within Web of Science or separately from the Libraries' list of databases. The journal impact factor is a measure of the frequency with which the "average article" in a journal has been cited in a particular year. The impact factor will help you evaluate a journal's relative importance, especially when you compare it to others in the same field. Not every journal will have an impact factor but there are other ways to measure impact to a field.
The newest edition of JCR is the default option and is a year behind the current year. You can search for a specific journal or subject area. Since impact factors vary widely by discipline, it is helpful to get a baseline for your discipline by searching for subject area first. Impact factor data is only available for journals indexed by Web of Science.
The default display is organized alphabetically by journal title, changing the option to Impact Factor will rank the journals from most impact to least.
Clicking on a journal title will provide additional details about the calculation. For example, here is an explanation of how impact factor was calculated for the American Sociological Review.
Web of Science will provide the Journal Impact Factor for the current year, the 5 year impact factor, the immediacy index, the journal half-life, and Eigenfactor scores.