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Research Impact

This guide outlines the resources and support available for ACU researchers to track their research impact.

Journal Impact Factor

The Journal Impact Factor measures the number of citations received in a given year by articles published in a journal in the 2 preceding years. This measurement was developed by Clarivate Analytics (formally Thomson Reuters) and can be used to compare and rank journals in science and social science disciplines. 

To find a journal Impact Factor, use the database Journal Citation Reports (JCR). You will need your ACU username and password.

Journal Citation Reports allows you to search for individual journals or to compare groups of journals by subject category. This is useful for researchers wanting to identify journals relevant to their research or in which to publish.

JCR provides a range of metrics for each journal, including:

  • impact over 2 and 5 years; 
  • how quickly things get cited; 
  • if citing continues over a long period of time  
  • Eigenfactor metrics

Caveats to Journal Citation Reports

  • JCR provides access to citation statistics from 1997 onwards and is limited to the citation data of journals indexed in the Web of Science Database
  • JCR should only be used to compare and rank journals in the same discipline as citation patterns vary across disciplines 
  • New journals are likely to receive an impact factor only after two years of indexing.

For more information about Journal Impact Factors see this Quick Reference Card.

View these videos about using Journal Citation Reports to find and to compare journal impact factors.

Eigenfactor Metrics

Eigenfactor® scores and Article Influence® scores rank journals using a similar approach to how Google ranks websites. Both scores take into account: 

  • the quality of the citing journal
  • the number of articles in each issue
  • the different citation patterns in different disciplines

Ranking journals in the Arts and Humanities

Journal Citation Reports are not published in the Arts and Humanities, so no Impact Factors are available for journals in these disciplines. These are some of the alternative measures of quality available: