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Evaluating Scholarly Publications for Tenure and Promotion: How to Find Impact Factors for Journals

This guide will help you find evidence of the value of your publications to use in your FAR.

How to find journal impact factors

Start at the library's homepage (http://www.sdstate.edu/library).

Click on the Databases A-Z link and type Journal Citation Reports.

Choose the science or the social science version and how you want to search. You can look for journals by category within the subject, publisher, or country/territory categories; you can search for a particular journal; or you can view a list of all the journals within the science or social science version.

Image of the JCR selection screen

Image of searching for a journal in JCR

Once you have found your journal, you will be shown a summary of information on that journal.

Journal of Human Genetics summary

You can get more information by clicking on the title.

How to find category impact factors

If you have the journal information in your browser

If you already have the journal information located, be sure that you are looking at the full record for the journal. If you are seeing only the summary information, click on the journal title to see the full record.

In the Journal Information section, the categories the journal is included in are listed and there is a button to see the category information for each category.

Image of category buttons

Just click on one of these buttons to get the category button to get the information on a particular category a segment of which is shown below.

Clip of category info

Note that you can also see how the journal ranks within the categories it is listed in.

Get category data from the main search screen

Choose to "View a group of journals by subject category."

Image of the JCR selection screen

Choose your category and make sure the View Category Data radio button is selected.

Image of category radio button

You can click on the category name to get more detailed information about that category.

Category summary data screen

Warning about using journal impact factors for evaluation

Impact factors were never intended to be used in evaluation of a person's work. Please be very circumspect when using these numbers and know that there are journals that do things to give a journal a false imact factor.

See the article from Nature about some Brazilian journals that were deliberatly "fixing" thier impact factors: http://www.nature.com/news/brazilian-citation-scheme-outed-1.13604.

Van Noorden, Richard. (2013). "Brazilian Citation Scheme Outed: Thomson Reuters Suspends Journals From its Rankings For 'Citation Stacking." Nature, 500, 510–511. doi:10.1038/500510a
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