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Journal Metrics: Alternatives to Journal Citation Reports

Discontinuation of Journal Citation Reports (JCR)

After a comprehensive review of databases, the MSU Libraries will not be renewing Journal Citation Reports (JCR), effective January 1, 2018. This guide provides information on alternatives to JCR for finding a journal's impact factor as well as alternatives to the impact factor for evaluating journals.

If a journal is listed in Journal Citation Reports, the journal's publishers will usually list the most recent impact factor on the journal homepage. The example below is from the homepage of the journal Public Health.

Note in this example that the journal publisher specifies that this information is taken from the Journal Citation Report database. You should be aware of imitation "impact factors" that some journals may list.

Journal Metrics Available Through Scopus

Scopus contains more than 60 million records, including articles from over 20,000 peer-reviewed journals, over eight million conference papers, and nearly 200,000 books.

  • CiteScore: measures average citations received per document published in the serial.
  • SCImago Journal Ranking (SJR): measures weighted citations received by the serial. Citation weighting depends on subject field and prestige (SJR) of the citing serial.
  • Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP): measures actual citations received relative to citations expected for the serial’s subject field.

On the Scopus homepage, click on the Sources link up at the top. You can now enter the title of the journal you are looking up and then click on the search button. Be sure to change the search field from "Subject Area" to "Title" (drop-down menu on the left).


You will be able to view the most recently available figures CiteScore, Scimago Journal Ranking, and Source Normalized Impact per Paper. The CiteScoreTracker number at the bottom gives you an idea of the current trend of the journal's CiteScore for the current year.


Journal metrics in Scopus

Comparing Specific Journals in Scopus

The Scopus homepage also has a "Compare sources" link on the right that you can use to compare up to 10 specific journals that you select. Just search the journal names by full title or key words, and you can easily get a graphical comparison of the journal metrics.


Comparing Specific Journals Using the Scimago Website

The Scimago website provides a more detailed categorization of journals. If the Scopus categories are too broad, try visiting

Scimago homepage