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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

About Metrics

  • an article's / author's/ journal's metrics will vary between databases as they will reflect how the article is being cited within that database. As each database indexes a different range of titles, it is expected that the scores will vary
  • a multidisciplinary journal title's metric may have several metrics reflecting it's standing within the different subject categories it covers
    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

  • the metrics used may vary between databases as the databases are owned by different publishers who are using their own trademarked metrics


An author's h-index attempts to measure both the productivity and citation impact of the publications of a scientist or scholar. The h-index is based on the highest number of papers included that have had at least the same number of citations

A journal's h-index attempts to measure both the productivity and citation impact of the publications ... the journal's number of articles (h) that have received at least (h) citations. It is best used to compare journals within a discipline as it does not take into account differing citation practices across 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  or library guides
  • 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


Journals indexed by Scopus

The databases below list of journals indexed by Scopus, as well as their rankings:


  • An article's citation data in the Scopus database is used by Scimago, CiteScore, SciVal etc. 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.

  • Consult the Elsevier poster of definitions of the full range of Scopus/SciVal metrics

Find highly ranked Scopus journals 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

Find highly Ranked Scopus indexed journals using Scimago

Scimago Journal Rankings (SJR) and Quartile ranking


  • 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.

  • The Quartile level indicates where the journal sits in it's subject category

    • with Q1 indicating that the title is in the top 25% of journals in that subject category

    • multidisciplinary journals may attain different Quartile metrics for each of their different subject category

Scimago image


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

Comparing Sources in Scopus


Scopus Compare sources

The Scopus compare sources tool enables you to compare up to 10 sources on a variety of parameters.

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.


From a search page:

  1. Click the ‘Search’ tab on the top navigational panel.
  2. Click ‘Compare sources’ in the blue bar.

From the source page:

  1. Click the ‘Sources’ tab on the top navigational panel..
  2. Search or browse for a source and click on it’s title to open the source details page.
  3. Click ‘Compare sources’. The Compare sources tool opens with the source added.

Set an appropriate date range - view recent metrics or metrics across all dates

For definitions of Metrics provided: see 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).

Find a Journal's Quartile rank

  1. Login into Journal Citation Reports - if you haven't done so, you will need to create a personal login to use this function
  2. Click on Browse by Category
  3. On the right hand panel > Click on Journals By Rank
  4. On the left hand panel >
    • Click on Compare Journals
    • Select Quartiles
    • Start typing in the title you are interested in viewing
    • Click on the suggested title in the drop down menu to select it
    • Search and select several titles
  5. Select JCR Year > metrics will change over the years
  6. Select Categories > from the drop down menu, select the Subject category your journal is part of
  7. Select Metrics > select JIF-subject category (this is the journal's ranking within that subject category)
  8. Submit
  9. The journal's JIF-subject category (Q1 - Q4) will display on the right hand panel


Find a Journal's Journal Impact Factor (IF)

Image: Searching JCR

Web of Science Average Journal Impact Factor (JIF) Percentile

The Journal Impact Factor (JIF) Percentile transforms the rank in category by Journal Impact Factor into a percentile value, allowing more meaningful cross-category comparison.  

The Average Journal Impact Factor (JIF) Percentile takes the sum of the JIF Percentile for each category under consideration, and then calculates the average from those values.

  1. You will need a personal login to use this function
  2. Search for the journal you are examining
  3. In the result's screen, view the current year's metrics
  4. Click on All years to view the journal's Journal Impact Factor (JIF) Percentile
  5. The following screen presents all of the journal's key metric indicators across all years

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




ERA List of Journals

  • The ERA journal lookup list is available through ECU’s Research Activity System (RAS) in the staff portal

Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) is the research quality evaluation initiative of the Australian Government, administered by the Australian Research Council (ARC). ERA is used to evaluate the quality of research undertaken by each university in Australia.

Your choice of journal will affect whether your article will be eligible to be counted as part of the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) evaluation.


If you are looking for a current  ERA Ranked Journal list - it is no longer used (the explanation below is from the ERA website)

In 2009, the ARC developed a ranked journal list in consultation with members of the public, expert reviewers and academic peak bodies. This list included quality ranks for each journal. Ranked journal publishing profiles were used as part of the suite of indicators in the ERA 2010 evaluation. Following feedback from Research Evaluation Committees that they relied on their own expert knowledge of the quality of research outlets relevant to their discipline, ranked journal profiles were removed as an indicator for the ERA 2012 evaluation. The ranked journal list is no longer available from the ARC website. This is because it was intended solely for the purposes of the ERA 2010 evaluation, and because journals may have changed significantly in the number of years since the rankings were developed.

A journal's h-index

Similar to the author's h-index, a journal's h-index attempts to measure both the productivity and citation impact of a publication. Metrics may change depending on the range of years selected.

Listed below are the steps on how to find a journal's h-index in:

Web of Scienec - Find a journal title's h-index

  • Search Web of Science by journal publication
    image: Web of Science publication search
  • Click on Citation Report/
    Image: Web of Science results list - citation report





  • Metrics provided on that title include:
    • total publications
    • h-index
    • average citations per item
    • sum of times cited (per article by year) (all articles by year)
    • sum of times cited - without self-citations
    • citing articles
    • without self citations

h-index of journals indexed by Scopus

An easy way to to discover the h-index of a journal is to go to Scimago (Scimago uses Scopus citation data to calculate it's metrics)


  • search for a journal title in the search box or
  • browse journals by subject > select a journal

The journal's landing page will display the journal's h-index

In Google Scholar:

  • click on the three horizontal bars on the top left hand side of the page
  • click on Metrics
    Image: Google Scholare Metrics
  • Search for the journal by title in the search box OR brows journal by category
  • the title's h5-index and h5-median will be displayed
    • 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 2013-2017 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
  • Image: Google Scholar journal h-index


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