The oldest and most well-known of the journal metrics, the JIF is a citation count based measure that was originally developed as a way to help academics and librarians compare the quality of a particular journal to others in its field.
Criticisms have been made against the JIF over the years, such as the fact that the metric can be manipulated by journal editors who can, among other tactics, encourage authors to cite other articles published in their journal (self-citations). However, perhaps the most problematic aspect of the JIF is the way that it is often used to assess individuals for funding and promotion considerations, a use for which it was not designed. JIF does not accurately reflect the impact of each individual article in a journal. A highly cited publication can boost the impact factor of a journal, benefiting an article that was published in that journal which was not cited widely, or at all.
Other journal-level metrics have since been developed (see below) which have attempted in various ways to compensate for some of the weaknesses of the JIF.
Finding the Impact Factor of a journal: Many journals will list their impact factor on this website. Currently, Jefferson Libraries does not subscribe to the database that lists impact factors, so we recommend using other journal metrics for evaluation, such as the ones below.
Find the CiteScore of a journal using the Scopus database. (Click on "sources" at the top right of the page to search for individual journals)
Find the Eigenfactor at eigenfactor.org.
Published with the Eigenfactor is another metric, called the Article Influence Score (AIS). This metric uses the Eigenfactor, and divides that number by the number of articles published in a particular journal, in order to obtain a measure of how influential the articles in that journal are. The mean Article Influence Score is 1.00. A score greater than 1.00 indicates that articles in the journal have an above-average influence. A score of less than 1.00 indicates that articles in that journal have a below-average influence.
Find the SNIP of a journal using the Scopus database.