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Faculty Guide to Library Services

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What is an Impact Factor?

The Impact Factor of a given peer-reviewed article is a number which represents the prestige and influence of the journal where the article appears and the number of other researchers and change-leaders in that field who are influenced by the article.  There are various sources for these Impact Factor numbers, and they change over time.


How to Find Impact Factors

A first step to find the impact factor of a journal is to Google the title of the journal where an article appears along with the phrase "impact factor".


You can also use the websites below, as well as note the number of citations listed by journal title retrieved by Google Scholar.

 • Scimago Example

 • Eigenfactor Example


Be wary of journals that cite bogus or fake impact factors, such as the GIF ( Global Impact Factor), Citefactor, or the UIF (Universal Impact Factor).

Additional Resources

Google Scholar Metrics

Eigenfactor is a free & searchable database that covers the natural and social sciences and "also lists newsprint, PhD theses, popular magazines and more." The Eigenfactor is now included in the ISI product, Journal Citation Reports

The website includes an interactive mapping function that shows the relationship of branches of science to each other based on the size of the field and the citations generated by the journals of the field. Rather than the "soft" categories used in Journal Citation Reports, where a journal may be located in one or more categories, Eigenfactor uses a hard category where a journal can only fit in one discipline.

The website include several quick top ten lists in science, social science, university theses, newspapers, and magazines.

SCImago Journal & Country Rank

A free source that uses data from Elsevier's Scopus database and includes journal indicators developed from the information contained in the Scopus database from 1996.  It does not include journal impact factors but does have a number of other indicators, including SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) and h-index, cites per document, etc.  Journals may be ranked by very broad subject areas, more specific subject categories, SJR, h-index, etc.