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Research Services: Journal Impact Factor

The Glucksman Library's guide to assist researchers with all aspects of the research process from finding information to maximising impact.

Journal Impact Factor / Journal Citation Reports

To find the journals with the highest impact in Web of Science, use Journal Citation Reports which lists the Journal Impact Factor of all journals. The Journal Impact Factor is calculated by dividing the number of citations in the Journal Citation Reports year by the total number of articles published in the two previous years. A Journal Impact Factor of 1.5 for a particular journal would mean that, on average, articles published in that journal during the previous two years have been cited 1.5 times. The Journal Impact Factor is a relative number and can only be used to compare journals in the same research field. The Journal Impact Factor uses Thomson Reuters’s Web of Science citation data.

Journal Citation Reports and Web of Science are subscription databases and are available via This guide will show you how to use the Journal Citation Reports.

When choosing a journal an important factor to consider is its ranking in its subject category or categories e.g. whether it is ranked in the top 10 journals in the subject category by impact factor or whether it is a quartile 1 or quartile 2 journal. In the journal profile page in Journal Citation Reports for the journal of interest in, click on Ranking on the left hand side below the Key Indicators box. If the journal is included in more than one subject category remember to scroll to the right in the Ranking window to see its ranking in the other categories.

Example of a ranking of a journal in its subject category:

Journal Citation Reports screenshot


Selecting relevant Web of Science journals

This tutorial will show you how to use Web of Science to find journals that may be relevant to your research topic.

Using Journal Citation Reports to find the Journal Impact Factor of a journal

See how to find the Impact Factor, Category Ranking, and Highly Cited or Hot Paper status from JCR and Essential Science Indicators right within your Web of Science search results.