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Research Impact: Journal Metrics and Rankings

About Journal Metrics

The CBS LibGuide about Journal Metrics and Rankings takes you through the most commonly used journal citation indicators.

These indicators use citations as a proxy for quality and impact of a journal, and based on these ranking lists of the best journals are produced.  

Note that when trying to establish the quality or impact of a specific journal, it is recommended that you supplement the citation based indicator data with data about how the journal performs in other journal rankings (see box titled "Non-citation based ranking lists").

Journal Impact Factor and CiteScore

Journal Impact Factor (JIF) is perhaps the best known and most used metric for quality ranking of scientific journals measured by how many times articles are cited.

Data: The JIF is based on Web of Science citation data. JIF's are located in Journal Citation Report, sourced from the Web of Science Core Collection

This is how you find a JIF:

  1. Access the Journal Citation Reports from
  2. Enter a journal name

Need to know:
  • How JIF is calculated
    The JIF is calculated as the average number of times articles from the journal published in the past two years have been cited in the JCR year. Example - Organization Science

    The numerator looks at citations in a particular JCR year to a journal's previous two years of content. For example, the 2017 Journal Impact Factor for a journal would take into account 2017 items that cited that journal's 2015 or 2016 content. The numerator includes citations to anything published by the journal in that 2015-2016 timeframe.

    The denominator takes into account the number of citable items published in the journal in 2015 and 2016. Citable items include articles and reviews. Document types that aren't typically cited, e.g. letters or editorial materials, are not included in the Impact Factor denominator.

  • Journal Impact Factor

  • JIFs are normally used with a 2 year citation window (as above), but you can also find JIFs calculated with a 5 year citation window. Note that a 2-year citation window can be problematic in CBS relevant disciplines as articles in these areas are not cited as fast as articles from other areas (Life Sciences, etc.).
  • Not 'field normalized'
    It is important to know that the JIF is not field normalized which means that it doesn't take account for the different citation patterns from discipline to discipline. Therefore you should only compare JIFs for journals in the same discipline.

  • Relevant CBS subject categories
    Note that only a limited number of CBS-relevant journals are indexed in Web of Science, and thereby have a JIF. The most relevant subject categories for CBS are Economics with 371 journals, Management with 226 journals, Business with 152 journals, Business/Finance with 108 journals, and Operations Research and Management Science with 83 journals - a total of 940 CBS relevant journals.

Link to more info about the Journal Impact Factor:

CiteScore is the equivalent to JIF.  It is also a metric for quality ranking of scientific journals measured by how many times articles are cited.

Data: CiteScore is based on data from the citation database Scopus.

This is how you fnd a specific journals CiteScore: 

  1. Access Scopus from
  2. Click on Sources in the top menu

  3. Enter a journal name
Need to know:
  • How CiteScore is calculated
    Note! The arrival of CiteScore 2019 also introduced a new and enhanced methodolody to calculate CiteScores - see below. The new methodology is used retrospectively - meaning that CiteScore values for all previous years (2011-2018) are based on the new methodology. 

  • CiteScore is calculated as the average number of times peer reviewed publictions from the journal published in the past four years have been cited from the year of publication until the end of the calculation window which is up to four years. So CiteScore uses a 4-year citation window, as opposed to JIF's 2-year citation window. Example - Organization Science

  • 1 decimal values
    In order to avoid the impression of precision CiteScore values are only displayed to one decimal place. 

  • Not 'field normalized'
    Like JIF CiteScore is not field normalized – so only compare journals within the same field/subject category.

  • Number of CBS relevant journals with a CiteScore
    There are more CBS-relevant journals with a CiteScore than a JIF. The most relevant CBS subject areas in Scopus are Business, Management and Accounting with 1914 journals, Computer Science with 2322 journals, Economics, Econometrics and Finance with 1304 journals and Social Sciences (Sociology and Political Science, Cultural Studies and Communication) with 2612 journals - a total of 8152 CBS relevant journals.

Links and additional info:

Non-citation based rankings lists

When trying to establish the quality or impact of a specific journal, it is recommended that you supplement the citation based indicator data with data from other journal rankings.

Here are some examples of ranking lists of journals from CBS relevant research areas:


If you have questions about Journal Metrics, please write to

Main differences between the JIF and the CiteScore

  • JIF is based on data from Web of Science, wheras CiteScore is based on data from Scopus.

  • CiteScore uses a 3-year citation window whereas JIF uses a 2-year citation window.

  • The number of CBS-relevant journals indexed in Scopus (app. 7289) is significantly higher than in WoS (app. 885). This means you’ll be able to find more CBS-relevant journals with a CiteScore than with a JIF.

Other journal metrics

Several other journal metrics are available. These metrics address the following issues: 

  1. The problem with no 'field normalization' 
  2. The question of ‘quality’ or ‘prestige’ of citations 

Note that JIF and Citescore produces more or less the same ranking of journals within a subject field, as they are calculated in very similar ways. But rankings based on more advanced metrics can be much more different!

The three most important additional journal metrics: