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Research Support

XJTLU Library Research Support Guide will help to locate essential information about finding citations, desseminating your research, etc.

What is Journal Impact Factor ?

Defined by the Dictionary for Library and Information Science, Impact Factor (IF) is a quantitative measure of the frequency with which the "average articlepublished in a given scholarly journal has been cited in a particular year or period, developed by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) for use in Journal Citation Reports. It is a multidisciplinary tool for ranking, evaluating, and comparing journals within subject categories. Journals of higher Impact Factors are considered more important than those with lower IF. 

Journal Impact Factor is a journal level metric. It cannot reflect the quality of individual articles in a journal. But it is still one of the most important indicator for librarians in collection management, journal publishers in marketing, information analysts in bibliometric research, and authors to identify journals in which to publish.

Journal Citation Reports

XJTLU Library has subscribed to Journal Citation Reports (JCR), one of the leading tool to evaluate and compare journals by using citation data. 

There are two editions in JCR:

  • JCR Science Edition -- containing data about more than 8,000 journals in science and technology
  • JCR Social Sciences Edition -- containing data about more than 2,600 journals in the social sciences

You can use JCR to find the citation information (including Impact Factor) for all journals in a specific subject category, or search for the data for individual journals indexed in Web of Science.  

To start searching JCR, please go to the Library's Database A-Z list ( and find JCR under 'J'.


Here is how to use JCR to define journal citation and Impact Factors.

To find out a complete list of journals and their citation information in a specific subject category:

1. Click Select Categories on the left pane. Select one or more categories. 

2. Select a JCR edition (SCIE or SSCI) and a JCR Year. Click "Submit" at the bottom. 

3. A journal summary list is shown. All titles are linked and you can click one of them to view the detailed citation information about the journal. You can select specific items, and "Cpmpare Selected Journals".

4. You can change indicators by clicking "Customize Indicators" and then "Save".

5. To "Add Journals to New or Existing List", you will have to login to JCR. You can register for an account if you do not have one.


To search for a specific journal and view its citation information:

1. Enter the journal's title the Master Search box the left top, and the system will automatically suggest a list of matched journals.

2. Or you can click "Select Journals" and then search journals. JCR has provided various search options, including JCR year, JIF Quartile (Q1-Q4), impact factor range and others. 

3. The result is shown. Click the linked title of the journal and go to the detailed record page. 

4. In the detailed record page, you can find different types of data, including the calculation of impact factors, h-index and other scores, journal ranking and the cited / citing journal data.


Additional Reading -- SCImago Journal & Country Rank

The SCImago Journal & Country Rank is a portal that includes the journals and country scientific indicators. As you may know, JCR is developed from the information contained in Web of Science. Similarly, SCImago Journal & Country Rank is developed based on the information in another famous citation database -- Scopus. 

In SCImago, you can find out journal rankings, search for a specific journal and its citation data, search for country citation data and trend, compare similar journals, etc., and the data is visualised.