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Research metrics

Information and resources to demonstrate impact using research metrics

Measures of journal quality and metrics

An impact factor is one way of measuring the relative ranking of a journal within a particular field. Ranked lists of journals can be used to:

  • Identify prestigious and influential journals in a particular discipline
  • Identify highly ranked journals in which to publish
  • Help determine the allocation of research funding

Check the following when choosing a journal to publish your research in:

  • Is the journal indexed in discipline-focused databases or citation databases like Web of Science or Scopus?
  • Is the journal included in the ERA 2023 submitted journal list?
  • Is the journal peer-reviewed? Check using Ulrichsweb.
  • Use key journal metrics and ranking lists to determine journal quality.

For more information on selecting quality journals for publishing consult the online guide: Strategic publishing

Journal metrics can offer some insight into research quality and impact, and there are a range of metrics available to demonstrate impact - each uses different data and calculation methods. Rankings lists created from journal metrics are one way of identifying and measuring the relative prestige of a journal within a particular field.

Below are some of the more commonly used tools for ranking journals within particular fields.

Metric Definition Tools

Article Influence Score

​Calculated by dividing the Eigenfactor score of the journal by the number of articles published. It tells the average impact of an article published in a journal from a five year period after the publication of the article.

Citations per publication

The number of citations received by an entity, divided by the number of publications produced by the entity.

Cite Score

Based on Scopus, this is a set of metrics that measure a scholarly journal’s impact. Recently updated CiteScore 2019 counts the citations received in 2016-2019 to articles, reviews, conference papers, book chapters and data papers published in 2016-2019, and divides this by the number of publications published in 2016-2019. It is included in Scopus Sources.


The Eigenfactor™ Score uses citation data to assess the relative influence of journals. Journals with many citations from influential journals are rated as influential themselves.
The Article Influence™ Score determines the average influence of a journal's articles over the first five years after publication.

Journal Impact Factor

Number of citations within one year to items published in the last two years. This metric is also available excluding journal self-cites and as a five-year impact factor

SJR (SCImago Journal Rank)

Based on Scopus, this provides a prestige metric based on the subject, quality and reputation of citing journals. It is included in Scopus Journal Metrics.

SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper)

A free source using Scopus data and weighs citations based on the total number of citations in a subject field thereby allowing for comparisons across different subject fields. It is included in Scopus Journal Metrics.

Discipline-based journal rankings