Refresh of the Journal Citation Reports data

Although Journal Citation Reports is known for its annual release, we also provide a data refresh approximately three months later, to allow us to apply corrections to individual journals. This includes adding information and metrics for journals whose data was not complete in time for June. This year’s refresh brings the total number of journals with current information in Journal Citation Reports to 11,681. More details are in the infographic below:



New Features

In June, the Journal Citation Reports featured a brand-new journal profile page, providing a narrative for each journal. In the months since, we have added new features and data to give a more meaningful context for journal performance.  Here’s a quick rundown of the things you may have missed.

The Journal Impact Factor Trend graph now shows not only the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) values, but also the Percentile Rank in Category for the five most recent years. The JIF trend is represented as a bar graph, and corresponds to the left-hand axis. Percentile Rank in Category is represented as line-and-marker graph, and corresponds to the right-hand axis. Gridlines are shown at 25th percentile, 50th percentile, and 75th percentile, allowing quick visualization of the Quartile rank.


Prior years are presented in ascending order, from the four years’ prior to the current JIF year, through to the current year. The current year JIF is highlighted, and corresponds to the value shown above the graph. Hovering over any individual year will display that year’s JIF and the percentile rank for each category. The category legend will default to show only the first category, as listed in the Journal information panel above. To view all categories, past and present, click the “Show all” link. This will include any category that was previously assigned to the journal, but is not represented in the most recent years.

To see the full history of Journal Impact Factors, Percentile Rank, and category assignment for a journal, click on the “Expand” button, then use the “View All Years” link. This will expand the history to 1997, or to the first year the journal appeared in Journal Citation Reports.



Printable versions of the profile page and the individual visualizations on the page are also available.


The Key Indicators table has been added to the new profile page, ensuring that users don’t have to move back and forth between the All Years tab and the new profile page.


The Citation Distribution now includes a count of Articles, Reviews, and Other (non-citable) items that received no citations in the JIF year. These “Uncited items” counts are available in the expanded view of the citation distribution. “Uncited items” show the variable role of “non-citable” content in the determination of impact.


Finally, in today’s release, we have added an important refinement to two of the long-standing JCR metrics. The cited half-life was first published in the 1978 to show the median age of materials IN each journal that were cited that year. The citing half-life followed in 1982, to show the median age of materials that were cited BY each journal that year. Together, these numbers provide a sense of how a journal and a field are using the archival literature.

Previously, cited and citing half-life calculations were capped at 10 years. Any journal with median cited or citing ages of more than ten years was shown only as “>10”. This does not represent how the current literature can still depend on a deep, rich history of published work. The full resolution of cited and citing half-life data has now been calculated for 2017 citations and will give a greater sense of the way a journal’s backfile is actively used in the most recent publications. Journals are no longer grouped together as “>10” – users can now see if a journal’s cited half-life is 10.6 years, 38 years, or even over 100 years!


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