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Beowulf and Impact Factors

Some of the interesting topics coming across our desks this week include:

Beowulf Manuscript
Beowulf Manuscript

  • Beowulf
  • Day Trading
  • Impact of Nonprofits on Public Policy
  • Pastoral care in the Emergency Room

And, an in-depth look at a conversation we’ve had via IM, in person, through email, or over the phone:

Question:  How do I find out about journal impact factors?

Answer:  The library subscribes to Journal Citation Reports which provides one way to assess the prestige or influence of a journal.  Find “Journal Citation Reports” in the Library’s A-Z Databases list.  We have access to two sets of journals.  The JCR Science Edition contains data about more than 8,000 journals in science and technology, and the JCR Social Sciences Edition contains data about more than 2,600 journals in the social sciences.  

The Impact Factor is calculated by dividing the number of citations that year by the total number of articles published in the two previous years. An Impact Factor of 1.0 means that, on average, the articles published one or two year ago have been cited one time. An Impact Factor of 2.5 means that, on average, the articles published one or two year ago have been cited two and a half times. The citing works may be articles published in the same journal. However, most citing works are from different journals, proceedings, or books indexed by Web of Science.

Other metrics can also be useful in assessing the influence or prestige of journals as well.

Have more questions about Impact Factors or evaluating journals?  Just ask!


This Week in Reference: January 23rd, 2015

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