Scholarly Metrics

All about metrics: definitions, how-to, and tools.

Google Scholar Journal Metrics

GS has applied the h index to journals and uses an h5 index to look at the last 5 calendar years of a publication's output. Definitions and a thorough explanation are provided. They also list their top 100 English language journals.

Journal Usage Factor

COUNTER, an international group that creates and provides standards about electronic resources use, is working on a new measure. The Journal Usage Factor is be based on the number of article downloads of journal titles. This doesn't replace the Journal Impact Factor - which is based on citation - but provide a complementary measure which is based on use (aka downloads).

Learn More

There are a number of books, blogs, and websites that can teach you more about bibliometrics. Here are a few of our favorites. 

TOP Factor - Openness, Transparency, and Reproducibility

In 2015 a group of researchers, journal editors, and funding agencies published the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines. These guidelines were created to make visible and to reward the values of openness, transparency, and reproducibility that are so important in the pursuit of knowledge.

The Center for Open Science created a rubric to evaluate journal policies against the TOP Guidelines. Those evaluations are posted on Top Factor where you can view and filter those ratings. A recent press release describes their progress to date and plans for the future. 

Now you can compare and evaluate journals based on their policies around openness and transparency, not how many citations their articles receive. In turn, this will improve research evaluation and dissemination. 

If you have any questions, please contact your librarian

Find Journal Metrics

The databases listed here also provide basic statistics like number of articles published per year, number of citations to the journal each year, and number of references made each year.


Journal Metrics: A Short History

The Journal Impact Factor was the first metric created for scholarly journals. Eugene Garfield first conceived of the idea of an impact factor in 1955. It is used to determine the impact a particular journal has in a given field of research and also to determine in which journal an author might wish to publish. It is reported each year in Journal Citation Reports.

The Journal Impact Factor was the only metric available for many years. But once the Internet made gathering statistics easier, other metrics were created. The Eigenfactor was the next popular metric, followed by SJR and SNIP. Definitions and links for these are on this page.

Please remember that these metrics provide only part of the story about a journal's utility and reputation. Your librarian can assist you with these metrics and journal evaluation in general.