Saturday, 21 June 2008

Journal Citation Reports and Aggregate Impact Factors

This post responds to a comment on the posts on Journal Citation Reports [JCR] and Impact Factors [IFs] to provide some current data that illustrates the information provided by JCR.

The JCR provides data on individual journal titles, for example IFs. JCR also provides the same information for whole subject categories. These subjects are pre-determined by JCR and reflect a traditional view of academic disciplines. Measures include Aggregate Impact Factors [AIFs]. AFIs use the same formula as IFs - the sum of cites to articles published in journals in a given subject category in the previous two years, divided into the sum of articles published in journals in that subject category in the previous two years.

To use a worked example: Computer Science: Software Engineering has an AIF of 0.913. This is calculated by the sum of cites over the previous 2 years (2005=5767 + 2006=3596) divided into the sum of the number of articles published over the previous 2 years (2006=5248 + 2005=5006).

Total cites 9363 = 0.913
Total arts. 10254

The following roughly match areas from the BU curricula:

Business - 1.205
Business, Finance -0.834
Communication - 0.892
Computer Science: Software Engineering - 0.913
Food Science and Technology - 1.583
Health Policy and Services - 1.876
Health Care Science and Services - 1.809
Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism - 0,898
Information Science and Library Science - 1.026
Law - 1.228
Management - 1.335
Nusing (Science) - 1.031
Nursing (Social Science)- 1.023
Psychology - 2.386
Social Work - 0.746

The AIF in effect tells us on average how many times a recently published article will be cited. It also provides an indication of the Impact Factor for journals in any subject category. Note also that in many subjects in the social sciences only c 1 in 6 journals will register an IF at all.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Journal Citation Reports - 2007 edition released

The new edition of Thompson Reuters (ISI) Journal Citation Reports (JCR) was released on 17 June 2008. JCR publishes journal Impact Factor's (IFs) in two databases the Science Edition - 5,900 journals, and the Social Science Edition - 1,700 journals.

You can access JCR here. You will have to go through the following routine to get to JCR:

  1. Enter your ATHENS Account

  2. From the ISI Web of Knowledge home page - choose Select a Database tab

  3. Click through to the Journal Citation Reports

You can read more about JCR here with links to their online training video (rather clunky PowerPoint with some out of date screen shots - but non the less informative) and the JCR FAQ.


See also post on Impact Factors.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Impact Factors - The Basics

Impact Factors - The Basics - Part 1 (Cross 2008) is an explanatory guide to Impact Factors [IFs] from by Taylor & Francis. It does in fact cover the basics, what impact factors are and how they are calculated. However, it goes into greater detail on the very important topic of Subject Variation within Impact Factors including some very helpful graphs to illustrate the point. Here are some of the key figures made:

  • Average category impact factors for Economics, Nursing, Education & Educational Research and Business are all less then one. This compares with the top category of Cell Biology at c5.7

  • The coverage of journals in the Social Sciences by the Journals Citation Reports [JCR] are significantly less that the Sciences. For example Economics c 42% and Business and Management c33%. This compares with the top category Physics at c83%

  • The rates of citing in the Impact Factor Window (2 years) are higher in the Sciences, for example Cell Biology 22% compared with Economics at 8%

These figures provide a big health warning to comparing IFs even between apparently related subjects - there is also variation within subjects. The guide is just 7 pages long and worth a read especially for those researching in arts, humanities and social sciences who may wonder at the comparatively higher IFs of scientific colleagues.


Cross, J., 2008. Impact Factors - The Basics - Part 1. London: Taylor & Francis. Available from: [Accessed: 17 June 2008].


Journal Citation Reports [JCR] which publishes IF's is available here. It is ATHENS Authenticated.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Distribution of items on BURO across Bournemouth University

These figures just give a snapshot of the position of BURO in June 2008. They reflect almost entirely the availability of pre-existing databases and accessible sources of publication data and so should be treated with care.

  1. School of Health and Social Care 1199 items

  2. The Media School 463 items

  3. University Executive Group 414 items

  4. School of Services Management 232 items

  5. Academic Services 149 items

  6. The Business School 149 items

  7. School of Design, Engineering and Computing 142 items

  8. School of Conservation Science 128 items

Colleagues who want to add their own publications to BURO can use the guides on the BURO splash page or for more help contact Matt Holland.