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Bibliometrics: Journal Citation Reports

All about bibliometrics, and how you can make your research output more visible.


You should not depend solely on citation data when evaluating journals, but it can be used to help support and inform qualitative, peer review. Many factors can influence citation rates such as language, journal history, publication schedule, and subject specialty and scope.

Other factors which can affect a journal's ranking or metrics include:

  • article type(s)
  • changes in journal format
  • title changes
  • cited-only journals (i.e. whereby references from a journal (including self-citations) are not included in the dataset)

Many of the journals in Web of Science and Scopus are English-language from North America, Western Europe and Australia. Irish journals in many research areas can be underrepresented.

Review journals and original research journals are treated the same even though the citation patterns of these types of articles differ.

What is Journal Citation Reports?

The Journal Citation Reports (JCR) database is a unique and comprehensive tool providing bibliometric analysis of more than 5,900 journals in the areas of science and technology and of 1,700 journals in the social sciences. Coverage is international and includes journals published by over 3,300 publishers in 60 countries.

The aim of the JCR is to provide a systematic and objective means of determining the relative importance of science and social sciences journals within their subject categories. Information for each title includes the "impact factor" (measurement of the frequency with which the average article has been cited in a particular year) and the "immediacy index" (how quickly the average article in a journal is cited).

JCR uses Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics) citation data

Example of a Journal Citation Report

Journals in the Information Science and Library Science category.

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