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Journal Citation Reports

Last Updated: Aug 25, 2022 5:30 PM

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Journal Citation Reports (JCR) provides citation metrics useful in evaluating and comparing over 12,000 scholarly journals in all areas of the sciences and social sciences. These metrics help indicate which journals are the most important and influential in their respective disciplines. However, quality and publishing decisions should never be based solely on citation data. The best-known citation metric is the proprietary Journal Impact Factor based on a two-year window of citing papers covered in the Web of Science Core Collection Database.

As of January 2017, JCR is on the new InCites platform. JCR journal profiles are grouped into two editions, Science and Social Sciences and include the number of articles published and, on average, how often they have cited. A separate profile is provided for each title for each year since 1997. A variety of unique measurements for each journal are calculated, including its Impact Factors (2-year & 5-year window of citing papers), Immediacy Index, Cited Half-Life, and Citing Half-Life. These metrics are explained in detail in the Cited Journal Data Help and the Citing Journal Data Help. Metrics can be viewed by subject category, publisher, country, and user-defined sets of titles. The information can be displayed graphically and downloaded to an Excel spreadsheet.

A number of graphs and visualizations are available including Category Box Plots, Journal Relationships Visualizations, and Metric Trend Graphs. Network graphs on the Journal and Category Ranking Page, visible by clicking Show Visualization, display relationship visualizations based on customizable filters located on the left-hand side of the page. The size of each category, the flow of citation data between categories and additional indicator information accompany each graph.  Hovering above any node in the Category network will provide Aggregate Journal Impact information and total number of journals in that category. Be sure to fully explore this data-rich resource.

Additionally, information in the data table can be customized by clicking Customize Indicators, allowing you to see that information most relevant to you. The network graph is hidden by default, to provide an extended view of the data table. Clicking on hyperlinked indicators will display the calculation that sits behind that year’s figure..

The same underlying citation data powers the Essential Science Indicators (ESI) database that is also on the InCites platform. ESI gives macro-level analysis of research by country, authors, research fields, and journals. For more information, see the training videos and the Quick Reference Card.

Dates Covered

1997 to the present; updated annually, with the new edition appearing in June following the end of the calendar year.

Print Counterpart

Various older editions of Journal Citation Reports can be found in the following libraries: 

1) Science Edition

  • 1975-1988 - Annex Q1.S354
  • 1989-2001 - Annex MicFiche [no LC call number]

2) Social Sciences Edition

  • 1981-1985 - Lockwood Reference Index Area Z7161.S8 (Paper)
  • 1992 & 1996 - Lockwood Reference Index Area Z7161.S8 (microfiche)

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