Bibliometrics and Impact Factor: Finding Journal-Level Metrics in Web of Science

This guide explains how impact factor is used and calculated in journal and article rankings, as well as other methods of citation analysis.

Finding Journal-Level Metrics in Web of Science

  1. Go to the library homepage at, choose W for Web of Science, and click on the Web of Science title to enter the database.
  2. Click on the Products menu in the upper right corner and choose Journal Citation Reports from the dropdown menu.
  3. To get information for a specific journal, enter the title of the journal in the search box and then click on the search button.
  4. Click on the title of the journal that you want to see additional information.
  5. This will return some basic information about the journal, including the Journal Impact Factor. The Impact Factor is determined by dividing the number of citations to articles published in the previous two years that a journal received during the current year by the number of items published in the last two years.
  6. On this same page, you can see additional journal metrics, such as the immediacy index, which is calculated by dividing the number of citations to journal articles in a specific journal during the past year by the number of journals published in the article during the last year.  The Cited Half-Life is a measure that is only available for journals in JCR that have received 100 or more citations in the last year The measure is the number of years, counting back from the current year, that it took to get 50% of the total citations received by the journal during the current year. For example, if journal X has a half-life of 6 years in 2013, that means that half of the references that this journal received have been articles published since 2007. This can occasionally be valuable because it can tell you how recent the articles that get citations are.
  7. To compare journals, choose Browse Journals to compare multiple journals, or Browse Categories to review journals in specific subject areas.
  8. If you choose to Browse Categories, you will see a list of categories by group. You can click on the category title to see subcategories, or you can click on the link in the upper left corner that reads "See all 254 Categories" to see a full list of all subcategories.
  9. Then, you can choose a subcategory to see additional information.

  1. Each subcategory will show the number of journals in each category in each Web of Science citation index. The three major ones are Science Citation Index (SCI), Social Science Citation Index (SSCI), and Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI). Click on the purple links next to each category under # of Journals to see all of the journals in that specific index for that category. (NB: Web of Science also has the Emerging Sources Citation Index, which includes information about new journals whose impact is still being established.)


  1. The list of journals that appears shows a default list of indicators, including the Journal Impact Factor and the percentage of the journal's articles that are published OA Gold, which means they are freely accessible to anyone. Click on the Customize link to change the indicators you are viewing.

12. Choose the indicators you want to see in the menu that opens and click the Apply button. For instance, you could choose to see Eigenfactor, a score that "counts citations to journals in both the sciences and social sciences, excludes journal self-citations and takes into consideration a five-year period of citation activity. The size of a journal will influence this measure, since larger journals will have more citations and will be consulted more often by researchers” (Andres, 2009, p. 112)


Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library