Journal Citation Reports: A New Primer

This year, Journal Citation Reports (JCR) from Clarivate Analytics marks 42 years since its initial publication. Updated annually since that first appearance, the JCR has been the premier tool for evaluating journal influence and gauging activity in the profusion of subject fields and specialty areas that constitute worldwide science and scholarship.

Although its array of available measurements has continuously expanded, the JCR is still primarily renowned for its original metric: the Journal Impact Factor (JIF). Over its long history, the JIF has occasionally been a source of controversy in some quarters – particularly when its interpretation has been inaccurately expanded beyond the original intent of simply tracking journal impact. Nevertheless, the metric has been a durable and trusted indicator for the utility and reach of the research published in a given journal.

Now, to underscore the simplicity and strength of the JIF and other metrics associated with the JCR, Clarivate Analytics has prepared a primer in which these elements are clearly explained and illustrated. From the exact calculation of the JIF, to the editorial procedures that handle instances in which a journal changes its title, to dealing with misguided efforts to artificially influence JIF or misinterpret its significance – the primer provides clear, factual information to enhance the JCR’s utility.

Today’s JCR has been augmented by additional measures that provide a rounded, nuanced picture of journal influence: the Eigenfactor and Article Influence scores are just two examples. The JIF, meanwhile, remains the foundation on which these successive refinements have been built.

To download the new primer on the JCR, please click here.