Tips for using Scopus: compare journals in your field

We ran a fully-booked session on “Getting Published” for Postgraduates this week in the library. One of the topics we looked at was finding the journals in your subject that have the biggest impact factor. The “Impact Factor” of a journal is a metric developed and owned by Thomson Reuters. Swansea University staff and students can use their Journal Citation Reports database for Social Sciences or Science to find the “Impact Factor” and other rankings for journals.

Scopus has its own alternative metric for assessing journal impact and ranking called the SJR (Scimago Journal Rank). This can be queried on the Scimago website (freely available) or from within the Scopus database. Some journals are ranked using this metric that do not appear on the Journal Citation Reports, in particular more recent journals as JCR requires three years of citation data before a journal can be ranked.

From within Scopus, click “Analytics” on the blue menu bar.

Search for a journal e.g. “Welsh History Review”. You can then drag and drop the journal title into the right-hand area to view line charts or tables for that journal. Search for more journals (e.g. “English Historical Review”) and add them to compare citation patterns. Use the slider tool below the chart to restrict to more recent years. Citation patterns are not usually comparable across subject areas – there is a drop-down list of subject areas below the search box if you wish to restrict the journals you are viewing.

To view all journals within a subject area by ranking, the Scimago website has a handy Journal Rankings facility.

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