Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Evaluating Journals

Impact Factor

What is a journal impact factor?

Impact factor is a journal's ratio of citations to "citable items" over a two year period. It was developed by the Institute for Scientific Information and is published annually in Journal Citation Reports. Only journals have impact factors; people and individual articles do not. 

How can I find the impact factor for a journal?

WKU Libraries does not subscribe to Journal Citation Reports, the best-known source for journal impact factors. Some journal publishers list the impact factor on their journal's website. There are also free resources that list similar metrics. 

Eigenfactor rates the overall influence of a journal based on citations, with citations from other "influential" journals weighted more heavily than those from less influential journals. Their Journal Ranking Search allows you to search by title, publisher, or subject. 

SCImago also rates the overall influence of a journal (or institution) based on citations, with citations from other "influential" journals weighted more heavily than those from less influential journals. Their SJR Journal Rank search allows you to search by title, subject, and publication type.

Impact quartile:

Even if you can't find a journal's precise impact factor, Web of Science and Cabell's Directory of Publishing Opportunities both list a journal's impact quartile: where it ranks relative to other journals in the field.