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Open Access Publishing Resources: Measuring Impact

Make informed decisions in publishing scholarly research.

Journal Impact Factor

The Impact Factor is a measure of the frequency in which the "average article" from a particular journal has been cited in a given period of time. It is one way scholars measure the relative importance of a journal within its field. 

Use InCites Journal Citation Reports (JCR) to locate Journal Impact Factors and JIF quartile rankings. 

Journal Quartile Rankings

Journal quartile rankings are calculated by the JIF of the journal and dividing it by the number journals in that category to find x.  They are then distributed among as follows:

Q1: 0.0 < x ≤ 0.25

Q2: 0.25 < x ≤ 0.5

Q3: 0.5 < x ≤ 0.75

Q4: 0.75 <x

When searching in Web of Science, hover over the journal title in the results list or item record to view the journal's quartile ranking 

Image from University of Denver Libraries

JCR can show you the:

  • Most frequently cited journals in a field
  • Highest impact journals in a field
    • see the Journal Impact Factor tab for more information
  • Issue table of contents and article links

Search by Category

  1. Go to InCites Journal Citation Reports (JCR)  and select Browse by Category .
  2. Click Select Categories at the left. Select the category that best matches your discipline.
  3. Once the center list is populated, click the number in the #journals column to view journal titles. Journal titles are sorted by Impact Factor.

Browse Table of Contents & Issues 

  1. Follow the above steps to locate journals within a category.
  2. Click a title to access the journal profile.
  3. Select the Go to Journal Table of Contents link. 

Measuring the Importance of Journals and Articles

Author Impact Metrics

Author-level metrics attempt to measure the impact of individual authors. While there are many different indicators for measuring author-impact, the two commonly used metrics are: 

  • the H-index: number of papers (h) with a citation number ≥ h
  • i10-index: the number of publications with at least 10 citations


H-index: number of papers (h) with a citation number ≥ h

  • Can be found by doing an author search in Web of Science and selecting Create Citation Report.


i10-index: the number of publications with at least 10 citations

  • Created by Google Scholar; located in a researcher's GoogleScholar Author Profile