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Spreading the Word: Publishing Your Research & Extending Your Impact: Web of Science - Journal Impact Factor

This guide supports a scholarly communication workshop given in 2015.

About Web of Science

Web of Science is tool that can be used to track scholarly impact. It is interdisciplinary and covers all scientific areas, but it only covers select material including what it considers to be the "best" journals as well as concentrating on those in English. As a citation index it does not include the full text of the journal articles featured.

Google Scholar is another way to track citations, however, these citation counts are generally more than Web of Science and do not edit out self-cites, and include book chapters and conference papers not indexed by Web of Science.

Many databases (including Proquest) also have their own citation tracker functions. Again, these citations tend to be limited to other Proquest owned databases and can be narrow in scope. information is now integrated into Web of Science. Eigenfactor is a research project affiliated with the University of Washington that is also mapping scientification research using Web of Science information. Additional information about how the Eigenfactor and Article Influence score can be found on their website. Their focus is also on article level impact as opposed to an entire journal in addition to other information like cost effectiveness of journals.

By Author

In Web of Science, the author search function can be used to create a report of the author's overall citation counts, h-index, and publications.

The Author Search function prompts you to enter in the Last Name and a first initial. If there may be multiple initials or variants, the * can be used as a wildcard to find all of them. For example, Smith, J* will find JA Smith JB Smith, J Smith, etc.

Depending on how common the name is you may want to add in a field of research or an institution. Watch out for variants --- USC might appear as Univ So Calif and University of Southern California.

Once you have search results that represent the author you're searching for you can run a citation report.

By default the last 20 years are displayed and sources are organized by Times Cited - highest to lowest. In addition to average times cited, the h-index is included. A rearcher has an index of h if h of their papers have been cited at least h times each.

You can save this report in either a text file or an excel spreadsheet at the bottom of the results page.

By Article

Generate a list of articles citing a particular reference and visually display these sources using the Citation Network menu.

Click on the article title you're interested in. On the right side of the page find the Citation Network tab. Clicking on "Times Cited", will display a list of sources organized by date that have cited the source.

Citation Maps can be used to show the influence of a particular work, and can be used to go forwards and backwards the citation chain. You must have the latest version of Java plug-in installed to view the maps. For works that are heavily cited you can typically only generate a map in one direction.

View of Citation Map, Results Set, and Record View Panels

Maps can show what disciplines, journals, or authors are citing the source being analyzed. There are options to download the maps as images.

Journal Impact Factor

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.

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.