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Research Guides

Research Impact & Researcher Identity

Journal Impact

Journal impact measures which journals have the most influence in a field or discipline and which journals you should publish in.  

Traditionally, journal impact measures the number of articles published in a journal's year and the number of times these articles have been cited. 


Journal Impact Factor

The Journal Impact Factor (JIF) or Impact Factor (IF) ranks journals based on how many times a journal's 'average article' is cited in a year. 

Unfortunately, JIF is open to manipulation and many scholars believe it is not the most effective way to measure a journal's impact. 


Eigenfactor Metrics 

The Eigenfactor score uses citations to compare journals in a field or discipline, instead of simply ranking them .

Benefits of the Eigenfactor: 

  • Takes into account the importance of each citation 
    • All citations do not hold the same weight. Eigenefactor considers if the citation is from an influential journal or a smaller publication 
  • Accounts for differences in discipline citation standards 
    • For example, Medical journals have more citations than Philosophy journals, which gives Medical journals a higher impact factor using other metrics. Eigenfactor metrics attempts to counteract these issues. 


Tools that measure journal impact

Licensed Tools at the University of Toronto:

Journal Citation Reports

  • Journal Citation Reports (JCR) uses citation and article count to evaluate and compare journals in a field. It can help you understand how frequently researchers are using particular journals. The resource also tracks: 
    • Total citations
    • Journal Impact Factor 
    • Eigenfactor Score
    • Most frequently cited journals, highest impact journals, and the largest journals in a field


  • Using Scopus you can search for particular journals, for sources alphabetically, or by subject. The database provides: 

Find more information on Journal Citation Reports and Scopus Journal Analyzer from the Gerstein Science Information Centre.


Free Tools: 

Google Scholar Metrics

Google Scholar Metrics can help you determine where you should publish your work. The tool identifies the visibility and influence of articles in scholarly publications.