Demonstrating impact

Why quality matters

The need to focus on publishing in quality publications is sometimes featured in applications for grants or positions. The systems in place tend to rely on metrics and other pre-defined standards of quality, which can disadvantage some areas.

Factors to consider when determining the most appropriate journals in which to publish your research include

  • Discipline relevance and teaching the desired target audience
  • Journal quality or impact, often determined through the use of metrics
  • Prestige of the editorial team, contributors and journal circulation
  • Accessibility of the journal to a broader audience
  • Open access requirements of publishers and funders

See the Publish and disseminate research guide for more information.

Impact Factor vs SJR

The Journal Impact Factor (JIF) and SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) are two common measurements of rankings of journal quality. Both measures look at the number of citations the journal has received.

This table highlights some of the main differences and commonalities between the two measures.

  Journal Impact Factor (JIF) SCImago Journal Rank (SJR)
Source InCites Journal Citation Reports (JCR) - drawing on the data in Web of Science Scopus
A measure of Citation Impact Prestige
Availability Subscription access via JCR Freely available via SCImago website
Journal titles 12,000+ 22,000+
How is it calculated? The number of citations of articles published in the source journal in the preceding two years divided by the number of items published in that journal in the previous two years. Iterative process based on transfer of prestige from a journal to another, using current year citations to the source items published in that journal during the previous three years
Citations included All document types (including editorials) Articles, conference papers and reviews
Documents included Articles and reviews Articles, conference papers and reviews
Interdisciplinary comparisons Not useful for comparing disciplines. You should only compare Impact Factors for journals in the same field. Yes. The rank has been normalised to account for differences between the disciplines
Further Information The Clarivate Analytics Impact Factor About SJR

Other journal rankings or measurements are available such as Citescore which also draws from Scopus. The ranking is calculated a similar way to Impact Factor but uses citations from the Scopus database from the last three years

Journal benchmarking tools

  • Essential Science Indicators
    Includes title indexed by Web of Science, divided into 22 broad subject categories providing the total number of papers, citations and cites per paper.

  • Journal Citation Reports
    InCites Journal citation Reports includes over 12,000 journals and conference proceedings taking citation data from Web of Science and includes Impact Factor, total citations and other metrics.

  • Scopus Journal Analyser
    A tool in the Scopus database platform that allows the comparison of up to ten journals by CiteScore, SJR, SNIP, numbers of citations and articles and other metrics.

  • InCites
    Can be used to measure citations, normalised citation impact and other metrics for journals indexed in Web of Science.

Journal and publisher lists

  • ABDC Journal Ratings List
    Australian Business Deans Council journal ranking list includes 2600 titles reviewed by a panel of discipline experts.

  • Journal Quality List
    A collation of journal rankings from various sources covering economics, finance, accounting, management and training.