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Journal Impact Factor

What is the journal impact factor?

The journal impact factor calculates the frequency with which the “average article” in a journal has been cited in a particular year. It shows the significance or rank of a journal. 

The impact factor (IF) can help evaluate a journal’s relative importance, especially compared to other journals in the same field.  

To calculate the IF, divide the number of citations of articles published in the journal during the most recent two years by the total number of articles published in the same period. 

The equation is as follows: 2022 Journal Impact Factor = A/B  

  • A = the number of articles published in 2020 and 2021 that were cited by indexed journals in 2022  
  • B = the total number of citable items published in 2020 and 2021 

In this definition, “citable items” are articles, reviews and proceedings papers. It does not include editorials, corrections, notes, retractions and discussions.  

The Journal Impact Factor publishes as part of the Journal Citation Report based on the Web of Science source data.  

What does the journal impact factor tell a researcher?

Journals with higher impact factors are generally considered more important and prestigious than those with lower ones, and therefore publishing in these journals is more likely to increase a researcher’s reputation and professional standing. For expert identification and prioritization, the IF can be one of several factors considered when looking at a researcher’s publication history. 

Monocl Professional lists the Journal Impact Factor in parentheses after the journal title abbreviation.