Skip to main content

Industrial and Manufacturing Systems 8087

Library Tools for Literature Searching

Journal Citation Reports

Go to the Journal Citation Reports and find a ranked list of top journals in

Engineering, Industrial

Engineering, Manufacturing

Operations Research/Management Sciences

You may need to browse journals in other engineering categories and other disciplines to find all journals of interest.

Impact Factors

Definition: A measure of the frequency with which the "average article" in a journal has been cited in a particular year or period. Thomson Reuters

Calculation: 2012 impact factor = A/B.

  • A = the number of times articles published in 2011 and 2012 were cited by journals indexed by Thomson Reuters' Web of Science during 2012.
  • B = the total number of "citable items" published by that journal in 2011 and 2012

Available from: Journal Citation Reports/JCR

Issues Surrounding Impact Factors and Citations

What should concern you about cited reference searching and impact factors?

  • Impact factors are a measure the journal as a whole, not individual papers or researchers.
  • Consider the quality of the journal producing the citation.

Citation Patterns

  • Vary widely from field to field and shouldn't be taken at face value, but considered relative to the field of research.
    • Coverage of your particular field in the citation database may be weak
    • Cross-disciplinary research may produce fewer citations
  • Works better for journal articles than books.
  • The research may be too recent and not widely known, like emerging fields.
  • There is no guarantee that every paper which ought to be cited will be cited. An un-cited author may be ahead of his peers. Mendel and his genetics work went unappreciated for years.
  • Distribution of the citations over time might be more indicative of their importance than an initial high citation count shortly after publication.
  • Impact factors may play a too important role in hiring and tenure decisions without considering other measures.

Gaming the System

  • May be based on a few prolific authors citing each other, including self citations.
  • There is a growing tendency of some researchers to go after topics likely to get into high-impact journals, which jeopardizes creativity, can skew the course or even slow the pace of science.
  • Some journals also cite articles in editorials, reviews, news and other non-research articles to increase the number of cites.