A step-by-step tutorial for using Journal Citation Reports. Use Journal Citation Reports to examine journal metrics and to identify core journals in a topic area.

Use

  • Use the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) to examine the relative importance of a journal, especially in comparison with other journals in the same field
  • JCR provides impact factors, cited and citing half lives, immediacy index and other useful journal metrics

Access

  • From the UNT Libraries’ home page, select Databases from the left hand menu
  • Type journal citation reports into the first box, or use second box and down arrow to scroll to Journal Citation Reports in the list

Beginning Your Search

  • Select either the JCR Science Edition or the JCR Social Sciences Edition by clicking on the radio button to the left of each item and select the desired year using the pull down menu to the right of the edition
  • Then select your search process from the options on the right side:
  • View a group of journals by Subject Category, Publisher, or Country
    • Search for a specific journal
    • View all journals (in the Edition you selected)
    • Click on the blue submit button in the middle of the selection box

Searching by Subject Category

  • Select the desired edition and select “Subject Category” from the drop down menu
  • Click submit
  • The next screen lists all subject categories available with the edition
  • Hold down the Control (Ctrl) to select multiple categories
  • You can sort the results by Journal Title, Total Cites, Impact Factor, Immediacy Index, Current Articles, Cited Half Life
  • Display presents all titles with ISSN, Total Cites (for year chosen), Impact Factor, Immediacy Index, Number of articles published in year selected, and Cited Half Life
  • For additional information, click on the name of the journal

Searching by Journal Title

  • From the Journal Citation Reports home page, select the Edition you want to search. Remember that Journal Citation Reports only considers a small portion of the publishing field so it is possible that the journal won’t be included. Use the other Edition if you don’t find your title with the first edition
  • Select Search for a specific journal using the radio button to the left
  • Click the blue Submit button in the middle
  • From the next screen you can choose to search by Full Journal Title, Journal Abbreviation, Title Word, or ISSN. 
  • Note: The Full Journal Title search can be difficult to use. It is very specific. Try a Word search if the title search does not bring up the journal. Use only 2 or 3 words in the search as too many words cause problems. You may find it easier to browse titles by subject as most subjects do not contain that many titles.
  • Click the Search button when you are finished

Using the Information

  • Information for each journal includes:
    • ISSN
    • Total Cites for year selected
    • Impact Factor
    • Immediacy Index
    • Number of articles in year selected
  • the above items are available from all displays. To access additional information, click on the name of the journal

Definitions of Terms

Major terms are linked to a formal description and examples. Click on the term you want explained. Brief definitions of common terms are provided below:

  •  ISSN: International Standard Serial Number, a unique number attached to each journal for easy identification
  • Total Cites for year selected: Number of times articles in the journal are cited in the selected year in other journals covered in the JCR   
  • Impact Factor:  Measure of the frequency with which the average article in a journal has been cited in a particular year. The impact factor assists in assessing the journal’s relative importance, especially when compared to others in the same discipline
  • Immediacy Index: Lets you know how quickly the average article in a journal is cited and tells you how often articles published in a journal are cited within the year they are published
  • Number of articles in year selected: the number of articles published in the year under review
  • Cited Half-Life: The number of publication years from the current year which account for 50% of current citations received. This figure helps you to evaluate the age of the majority of cited articles published in a journal
  • Citing Half-Life: The number of publication years from the current year that account for 50% of the current citations published by a journal in its article references. This figure helps you evaluate the age of the majority of articles referenced by a journal
  • Cited Journal Ratings: shows the distribution of articles that cite the articles in the specific journal (e.g. which journals are citing the journal you are interested in)
  • Citing Journal Ratings: shows the distribution of articles that are cited by articles in the specific journal (which journals the journal you are interested in are cited)  

c. Beth Thomsett-Scott January 2016. Please contact me at beth.thomsett-scott@unt.edu if you have questions about this resource.