Know Your Metrics: Immediacy Index

In Journal Citation Reports, there are an entire suite of metrics by which to measure a journal. Each week here on Science Research Connect, we’ll take a closer look at one of these metrics. Immediacy Index is defined as the average number of times an article is cited in the year it is published. So where is this metric in JCR, and what does it tell us?

The calculation for Immediacy Index is available for each year for each journal, and clicking the score will reveal the data and calculation:

We can also track the trending of a journal’s Immediacy Index in graphic form by clicking the “graph” under this indicator (or any of the other Key Indicators). The “Metric Trend” graph then appears below the data table.

For a researcher, publishing in a journal with a high Immediacy Index may increase the chances that his or her paper will get noticed within a year of publication.  For a publisher, the Immediacy Index is an indicator that can be used to evaluate journals in the immediate term. Immediacy Index can answer questions about the speed of new content citation. Publishers can also compare Immediacy Index to competing journals – is their material cited faster? Publishers can also see how their journal fits in its categories by looking at the Aggregate Immediacy Index for the category:

For the example above, the journal is well ahead of the aggregate score for its field in terms of Immediacy Index.


Also, are any particular topics driving Immediacy Index higher?  For example, in the Immediacy Index graphs above, was there any specific development in research that may have caused the spike to 14.557 in 2009? And what might be driving the large Immediacy Index in 2015?

As you can see, looking at the Immediacy Index provides a great measure for journals shortly after publication.

See also:

JCR Primer

JCR Use Cases, Attributions, and Terms of Use


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