Many researchers will look for the journal’s scores in Journal Citation Reports – mainly the Journal Impact Factor (JIF), but other metrics in the Journal Citation Reports are signs of excellence in publishing as well, such as total citations or the Article Influence Score®. But what if you don’t have access to Journal Citation Reports, or if the journal you’re looking at isn’t in Journal Citation Reports?
Publishers’ websites are the next stop. Many publishers will post their JIF scores on their website, or their rank in their categories, etc. But can you trust what those websites say? Is that JIF score legitimate, or is it from a copycat site, calling itself an “Impact Factor” score, but not affiliated with or originating from Journal Citation Report from Clarivate Analytics? Has someone pirated a legitimate publisher’s site to drive traffic elsewhere? How can you tell?
With many informational web sites for journals to choose from, here are a few tips and tricks to ensure that you are using a credible and sustainable source while researching a journal:
First and foremost, do you know about the Clarivate Analytics Master Journal List? Every journal selected for coverage by the Web of Science editorial team is included on this list, and the list is updated monthly. All of our journals undergo a rigorous vetting process, so you can be sure that none of the journals selected are predatory or otherwise detrimental to the research and publishing communities. Clarivate, with its 50-plus-year heritage of selecting journals for the Web of Science, is the surest way to select the best journal for your submission today, and for the future.
What if you don’t find the journal you’re seeking on our Master Journal List? Does that mean it’s a bad journal? Not necessarily. It could be in the process of being evaluated. In that case, you can also do some investigating on your own.
When you’re out looking at journal and publisher websites, do some digging. If they claim to have a JIF score, see if they link to that score – there are many fake “Impact Factor” sites out there. Clarivate Analytics is aware of many of these sites and we are taking legal action where appropriate. You can help us with this effort: if you find a site like this, please alert your Sales representative or report it to Customer Technical Support.
Journals also may claim to be “indexed” by us, but look carefully at these claims. Some of them link to EndNote from Clarivate Analytics – a researcher citing a journal in EndNote does not constitute being indexed by us. Others will link to a ResearcherID account. ResearcherID is a tool for researchers, as the name implies – journals that register themselves for a ResearcherID are also not considered to be indexed by us. We are actively pursuing both kinds of claims to try to correct them, but we want everyone to be aware of these issues and to proceed with caution with claims of this type.
With any of these claims, whether that a journal has a JIF score, or merely states that it is indexed by us, the most conclusive proof of that claim will lie with our Master Journal List. Check our list, and if you don’t find the journal you’re looking for, keep checking back as the list is updated with new journals accepted to the Web of Science.