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Measure research impact and quality: Journal quality & impact

Why quality matters

The need to focus on quality publications has been emphasised in the recent ERA process and changes to the RPI at Curtin University. The systems in place tend to rely on metrics and other pre-defined standards of quality, which can disadvantage some areas.

Factors to consider when determining the most appropriate journals in which to publish your research include:
  • Discipline relevance and reaching the desired target audience.
  • Journal quality or impact, often determined through use of metrics.
  • Prestige of the editorial team, contributors and journal circulation.

Impact Factor vs SJR

The Impact Factor and SCImago Journal Ranking (SJR) are two common measurements or rankings of journal quality. Both measures look at the number of citations the journal has received.
This table highlights some of the main differences and commonalities between the two measures.

Impact Factor SJR
Source JCR (Web of Science) Scopus
A measure of... Citation impact Prestige
Is the ranking publicly available? No. Subscription access only via JCR Yes. Available via SCImago website.
How many journal titles are included? ~10,500 ~18,000
How is the rank calculated? The number of current year citations to the source items published in that journal during the previous two years Iterative process based on transfer of prestige from a journal to another, using current year citations to the source items published in that journal during the previous three years
What citations are included? All document types (including editorials) Articles, conference papers and reviews
What documents are included? Articles and reviews Articles, conference papers and reviews
Can the ranking be used to compare disciplines? No. You should only compare journal impact factors for the same field Yes. The rank has been normalised to account for differences between the disciplines.
Further information The Impact Factor About SJR

Journal and publisher lists/rankings

Multidisciplinary lists
  • Essential Science Indicators includes titles indexed by Web of Science
  • Titles are divided into 22 broad subject categories
  • Provides total number of papers, citations and cites per paper
  • Journal Citation Reports includes over 12,000 journals
  • Citation data taken from Web of Science.
  • Includes impact factor, total citations and articles and cited half-life
  • Scopus Journal Analyzer covers over 16,000 journals from Scopus database
  • Includes SJR, SNIP, total citations, articles published and articles not cited
  • Compare up to 10 Scopus sources on a variety of parameters


  • Journal Quality List is a collation of journal rankings from various sources
  • Covers journals in economics, finance, accounting, management and marketing
  • Compiled and edited by Professor Anne Harzing

Journal quality

0474 100 per cent Quality by Mark Morgan Trinidad B  

Metrics explained

Online training

Web resources