A Closer Look at the Compare Journals Tool in Journal Citation Reports

Did you know that you can compare journals right within Journal Citation Reports? It’s true – you can select up to 25 journals* and create a direct comparison report on a variety of metrics. Here we’ll show you how it’s done.

There are two ways you can arrive at the Compare Journals tool. If you know the names of the journals you wish to compare, select Compare Journals from the filter menu:

This will take you directly to the Compare Journals tool, where you will input the names of the journals you wish to compare, along with other comparison parameters.

If you are browsing JCR and see some journals you’d like to compare directly, you can check the box next to these titles and click Compare Selected Journals at the top of the data grid. This will take you into the Compare Journals tool with the titles you have selected already populating the tool.

It is important to remember that if you select some journals and then click Compare Journals in the filter menu, your selections will not carry over to the tool – when selecting journals, you must use the compare option within the data grid.

Once you get to the Compare Journals tool, you need to decide what type of comparison you want to make. Quartile comparisons put a variety of metrics into the context of quartile rank for effective comparison of journals in a single year, and present the data in tabular form. Metric Trend comparisons allow for the selection of a single metric over a selection of years, and the data are presented in both tabular and graphic forms.

Let’s look at a metric trend graph for the journals selected above. As you can see, the journals are pre-populated in the tool, but there is also an option to add more journals if you wish:

Next you select the range of years you want to see for these journals (hold down the shift key to select multiple years more easily):

Because some metrics, such as Journal Impact Factor, are dependent on all journals being in the same category, you must also select a category. If you have selected journals in multiple fields, the tool will tell you which journals are in common for each category:

Finally, select the metric you want to compare and click the Submit button; let’s look at Citable Items for all four journals over the past five years. The resulting graph can tell you about the publication practices of these journals over the time period in question, particularly in terms of producing scholarly papers.

Once you have created your report, you can download it in PDF format to use in your own reports by clicking the download button:

Please remember the terms of use for JCR: materials can be shared freely within a subscribing organization, but if you wish to use the materials in publications, please contact us for proper permissions. Please do not share data publically.

*Maximum journal number caveat: 25 journals for Chrome and Firefox browsers and 15 for Internet Explorer 11, due to technical limits of the IE browser.


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See also: 

JCR Primer

JCR Use Cases, Attributions, and Terms of Use