Why the Impact Factor of a journal is important?

Impact Factor indicates importance of a journal with in its scientific domain of importance. With the help of the The Impact Factor of a journal one can measure how frequently an article on an average is cited in a particular year.

The founder of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) Eugene Garfield devised Impact Factor. Impact Factors are calculated yearly starting from 1975 for journals listed in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR). ISI was acquired by Thomson Scientific & Healthcare in 1992, and became known as Thomson ISI. Onex Corporation et Baring Private Equity Asia in 2018, acquired Thomson ISI. Clarivate founded by Onex Corporation et Baring Private Equity Asia is now the publisher of the JCR(Journal Citation Reports).  Now researchers across the globe use JCR as reliable resource to compare journals using citation data drawn from scholarly and technical journals from publishers in over 100 countries. JCR is the sole  source of citation data on journals, and includes virtually all areas of science, technology, and social sciences. JCR covers journals indexed in the “Science Citation Index Expanded” (SCI) and the “Social Sciences Citation Index” (SSCI), these two journal citation indexes are in “Web of Science” (WoS).

JCR database  offers numerous sorting options including Impact Factor, total cites, total articles, and immediacy index.  In addition, JCR provides a five-year impact factor and visualized trend data. Impact Factors are recorded in Web of Knowledge, which is a subscription service owned by Thompson-Reuters – http://www.webofknowledge.com. The specific page for journal citation reports : http://admin-apps.webofknowledge
Your institution, or you, need a subscription to access the database.


How Impact Factor is Calculated?

A journal’s Impact Factor is based on how often articles published in that journal during the previous two years (e.g. if current year is 2020 then years under consideration will be 2019 and 2018). The higher a journal’s impact factor, the more frequently articles in that journal are cited by other articles. The quality and the popularity of the journal can be gazed easily by the  Impact Factor.


If a new journal needs to get an Impact Factor then it  needs to wait at least two years to get an impact factor.  Occasionally, Journal Citation Reports assigns an impact factor to new journals with less than two years of indexing, based on partial citation data. JCR also includes a Five-year Impact Factor, which is calculated by dividing the number of citations to the journal in a given year by the number of articles published in that journal in the previous five years.

How to Check  my Journal’s Impact Factor online ?

1. JCR is one of the best websites; however you have access to that from your institute..
2.  The following websites are  free and you can get Impact Factor for your Journal :


  1. https://clarivate.com/webofsciencegroup/essays/impact-factor/
  2. https://ucsd.libguides.com/ResearchImpact/JCR
  3. https://libguides.ioe.ac.uk/c.php?g=482311&p=3299102
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impact_factor

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