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Journal Evaluation Tools

This guide is intended to be helpful to someone trying to identify quality journals in their discipline. It covers journal rankings, acceptance and rejection rates, and links out to information on predatory journals and open access.

What is it?

Journal Impact Factor (JIF) was originally trademarked by Thomson-Reuters, then sold to Clarivate. To have a JIF, a journal must be included in the Web of Science Core Collection

JIF is a measure of the frequency with which the "average article" published in a given scholarly journal has been cited in a particular year or period and is often used to measure or describe the importance of a particular journal to its field.

Why does having a Journal Impact Factor matter?  In some disciplines, journals indexed by Web of Science are considered to be higher quality part, because Web of Science only covers "core" journals in each discipline. The higher the ranking, the more often they are being cited, according to Clarivate. Unfortunately, some interdisciplinary areas, newer fields/journals, and many journals published outside the U.S. are not covered well by Web of Science

How to find a Journal Impact Factor: There are several possible ways to locate them, but the single best way is to use Journal Citation Reports (see link below).

If you are looking for a journal that is not covered by Journal Citation Reports, it does not have a Journal Impact Factor. The next best thing is to look for a similar type of journal quality rating in SCImago or other tools linked on the Journal Rankings tab.

Your Librarian

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Lorrie Pellack
Head, Research & Instruction Services Dept.
150c Parks Library
Ames, IA 50011-2140
Phone: 515-294-5569