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HARC: Helpful Academic Researchers Companion

HARC has been designed to answer the questions researchers ask at every step of the research life cycle

Which Journals are Highly Rated?

Journal rankings are intended to reflect the importance of a journal within its field. The metrics are centered around the number of citations accumulated by articles in that journal. Implicit in this is the assumption that the greater the number of citations, the more important and relevant that journal is.

The journal metrics generated by both Scopus and the Web of Science are used by institutions and organisations to rate both research and journal performance

Note: A journal's metrics

  • metrics will vary between databases as they will reflect how the journal is being cited within that database. Each data indexes ad different range of titles, it is expected that the scores will vary
  • a journal title's metric will vary between different subject categories - a journal with multidisciplinary content may have multiple rankings as their importance between different subject categories may vary. e.g. a sports science journal which falls under both Health Professions (Physical therapy, Sports Therapy & Rehabilitation Sports Science) and Medicine ... could receive a different SJR, CiteScore or Impact Factor for each subject category


A journal's h-index is best used to compare journals within a discipline as it does not take into account differing citation practices of disciplines (unlike the weighted SJR and SNIP).


To find out more about the metrics

  • use the HELP button on the databases as well as the database's youtube channel will provide lots of information
  • follow Elsevier's new & recorded webinars for Scopus, SciVal and related research metrics
  • follow Clarivate's training videos for Web of Science, Incites and Journal Citation Reports and related research metrics


  • An article's citation data in the Scopus database is used by Scimago, CiteScore and SciVal to rank journals by their level of importance.

  • SciVal uses citation data generated in the Scopus database in its calculations

  • The metric Field Weighted Citation Index (FWCI) in SciVal is used to inform ASPIRE allocations.


Find highly Ranked Scopus indexed journals by their Scimago Journal Rankings (SJR) 

  • the Scimago Journal Rankings (SJR) score of a journal is calculated by taking into account both the number of citations
    a journal receives as well as the "importance" of the citing journal

  • SJR is a normalised score which allows journals from different disciplines to be compared

  • click on a title to see more information e.g. the subject categories it covers. For journals that have been categorised under more than one subject area, the SJR for each subject area may be different.

Scimago image

Find highly Ranked Scopus using the Scopus Sources List

The Scopus Source list is located above in the blue Scopus database banner

CiteScore also uses the citation data from Scopus to rank journals by their level of importance.

The Sources list provides a range of metrics which can be used to evaluate a journal.

  • CiteScore calculates the average number of citations received in a calendar year by all items published in that journal in the preceding three years. The calendar year to which a serial title’s issues are assigned is determined by their cover dates, and not the dates that the serial issues were made available online.

  • CiteScore and CiteScore percentile should not be used to compare journals from different subject areas as they are not field-normalised

  • for more information, view the CiteScore metrics FAQs

Link to image of Sources page

Scopus Compare Sources tool

The Compare sources tool can be found in the Scopus database on the Search Screen. It is a customisable tool which will allow you to compare up to 10 Scopus indexed sources on a variety of parameters: CiteScore, SJR, SNIP, citations, documents, and percentage of documents not cited.

The Compare sources tool is available in both a Chart and a Table view. The Chart displays information in a line graph, with separate graphs for each parameter. The Table lists parameters together in one table.

  • login into Scopus (through Databases A-Z on the Library's Homepage)
  • click the ‘Sources’ tab on the top navigational panel..

Location of Compare Sources tool in Scopus Document search page

  • search for a source by it's title (keyword search), ISSN or Publisher, Limit to All subject areas or A specific area

    • entering "nursing" will bring up a list of source titles which include "nursing"

    • the source list can be ranked by CiteScore, SJR, SNIP or ISSN

  • tick up to 10 source title to compare the titles visually over a range of metrics

  • more information here

Image shows range of metrics available on Compare sources: CiteScore, SJR, SNIP, CItations, Documents, % not cited, % Reviews













For the full range of Scopus/SciVal metrics, click on the poster below:

Image with link to Elsevier's Quick Reference Cards for Research Impact Metrics

Journal Citation Reports (JCR)

JCR uses citation data sourced from the Web of Science Core Collection database.

  • journals are ranked by their Impact Factor (IF) and ranking in the context of their specific subject field(s).

JCR is published annually in two editions, and only the editions and years to which ECU subscribes appear on the home page. Some subjects can appear in both editions.

  • JCR Science Edition
  • JCR Social Sciences Edition

Journal Impact Factor (IF)

  • shows the frequency with which the average article in a journal has been cited in a particular year.
  • highest impact journals in a field at the journal and category level

For example:
An impact factor of 1.0 indicates that on average, the articles published one or two years ago have been cited once
An impact factor of 3 indicates that on average, the articles published one or two years ago have been cited 3 times. (more on calculations).

Journal Impact Factor (IF)

Use the Web of Science's Analyze Results to find top sources on a topic

1. Search Web of Science

2. If you're happy that the results list match you topic expectations, click on Analyze Results

3. Sort Results options:

There are lots of sorting options including

  • Source titles (journals)
  • Book series
  • Web of Science Categories - shows multidisciplinary aspect of the topic
  • Publication years - are publications on the topic increasing or decreasing
  • etc.













Th following journal metrics record the titles performance on Google Scholar :

h5-index is the h-index for articles published in the last 5 complete years. It is the largest number h such that h articles published in 2012-2016 have at least h citations each

h5-median for a publication is the median number of citations for the articles that make up its h5-index




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