Tools for measuring the success of your article

You have worked hard to plan, implement, and publish your research. Now what? How do you know what impact your research is making on your field?

Impact factor

The impact factor (IF) of a journal represents how frequently articles published in that journal are cited. The number is calculated by dividing the number of citations from the current annual Journal Citation Report by the total number of articles published in the previous 2 years. This standardized score tends to be more consistent than other bibliometrics.


Like IF, this indicator calculates the importance of a journal to the scientific community. The eigenfactor weights citations from higher impact journals (e.g. Science or Nature). However, a journal’s score is also heavily influenced by its size, and numbers can appear inflated in years in which more articles are published. Eigenfactor data comes from the ISI Web of Science database. 

SCImago jourmal rank

Another variant of the eigenfactor, the SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) indicator calculates the number of citations from a particular journal for the past three years. Scores are weighted for journals with more impact or prestige. SCImago data come from the Elsevier (Scopus) database. 

Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP)

This measure attempts to correct for differences in citations that result from inherent differences in a journal’s subject of research. For example, journals that publish articles in applied science (e.g., engineering) may be less cited than articles published in journals publishing basic science. The metric can directly and objectively compare two similar journals and calculate whether the difference in their SNIP scores is statistically significant. Some updated SNIP calculators also correct for self-citations. Data are derived from the Elsevier (Scopus) database. To use SNIP, visit:

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