Web of Science Impact Factor

Web of Science Impact Factor

Web of Science Impact Factor

Web of Science (WOS) is the most famous and popular foreign search analytical platform and database of various humanitarian and natural science publications, mainly English.

Impact Factor (IF) is the average measure of the frequency with which an article was cited in a given year. It is used to measure the importance or rank of a journal by calculating the number of citations of its materials and publications.

Web of Science uses journal impact factor as its metrics to measure the impact of research/publications. However, it should be noted that the impact factor is calculated only for the journals Index of Scientific Citation and Citation Index for Social Sciences.

The Web of Science (WOS) core contains the following indexes:

  • Scientific Citation Index (from 1900 to present).
  • Citation Index for Social Sciences (from 1956 to present).
  • Citation Index for Arts and the Humanities (from 1975 to present).
  • Index of publications gaining a citation indicator (from 2015 to the present).
  • Conference proceedings citation index/science (from 1990 to present).
  • Conference proceedings citation index / social sciences and humanities (since the 1990s).

v Journal Impact Factor in Web of Science

The impact factor is a formal numerical indicator of the importance of a scientific journal, annually calculated by the Web of Science (formerly Institute for Scientific Information, Institute for Scientific Information, ISI ) and published in the journal Journal Citation Report. It shows how many times, on average, each article published in the journal is cited over the next two years after publication. The impact factor of journals in which the results of scientific research are published has a significant impact on the assessment of these results.

In any information-scientific institution, there is its own way of determining IF; such a technique is applicable for identifying the Impact Factor of those publications that are included in the organization’s database. However, the WOS Impact Factor is traditionally taken into account, which is the number of links for a given year to materials published in the journal over the past two or five years, divided by the total number of articles posted for a given time.

v Methodology for calculating the impact factor

The calculation of the impact factor WoS is based on a three-year period. For example, the impact factor of a journal in 2010 is calculated as follows:

IF = A / B

Where A is the number of citations published during the year 2010 of articles published in this journal in 2008–2009, in journals monitored by WOS,

B is the number of articles published in this journal in 2008–2009.

When calculating the impact factor (more precisely, the number of citations A ), WOS does not take into account all publications, but only those that are “citable items,” that is, research articles and scientific reviews. Citation in some types of essays (editorial notes, letters to the editor, news, conference reports, typos lists, etc.) is not taken into account.

In recent years, along with the usual IF, a five-year impact factor is also calculated, equal to the number of articles published in the journal over the past five years, to which at least one link was made this year.

v Web of Science approach to calculate Impact Factor

The process of calculating the quartile depends on the value of the indicator of the selected database in which the scientific journal is located. If the publication is included in the list of Web of Science, the impact factor JCR is used for calculations.

Calculation of Journal Citation Reports is quite complicated. It depends on the number of links to articles published in scientific periodicals over several years. Using JCR, 12.5 thousand publications are recorded.


JCR is an indicator that is actively used to identify quartiles (see below) of journals in WOS. The specified Impact Factor takes into account the number of links per year to materials posted in a particular publication over the past two years. This index allows you to compare the degree of importance of journals in one scientific field. Moreover, JCR is not applicable to humanitarian grounds.

With the exact scheme of calculations, the user will be able to familiarize themselves with the Internet resource Web of Knowledge. Regardless of the specifics of the direction of the journals, the official rating data for the JCR factor indicator changes annually. To keep abreast of current changes, you should regularly visit the above site.

JCR is not valuable for comparing journals specializing in different scientific fields; therefore, it is suitable only for the analysis of publications from one research area.

v Web of Science: Quartile Search for a Specific Edition

To find the required journal in WoS, the user needs to register on the official website of the HSE electronic library, and then execute the algorithm of the items listed below.

  1. Follow the link Web of Science and enter under your username/password.
  2. After getting to the main WoS page, go to the third tab of Journal Citation Reports.
  3. The name of the journal (partial or full) is entered into the Go To Journal Profile window. After entering the desired phrase, click the button with the image of the magnifying glass. Another option is to select the name of the journal from the drop-down menu that appears during typing.
  4. The Rank link located below the Key Indicators table opens a graph of the JCR impact factor. The user can track changes to the selected journal over the past few years. The left part of the histogram displays information about the category of the journal (annual quartiles, ranks, etc.)

v Web of Science: Search for a quartile list of journals in a selected subject category

The first two steps of searching for the required list are identical with the above paragraphs of the previous search. After a user clicks on the Journal Citation Reports metric tab, do the following:

  1. Select the Select Categories link in the left column. In the window that appears, put the icons in front of the specified categories (the list scrolls). You can save the resulting search results by clicking outside the dialog box.
  2. To create boundaries for the issuance of certain quartiles, the user should select the JIF (Journal Impact Factor) Quatriles link and mark the points at their own discretion.
  3. Confirmation of the selected actions - Submit button.
  4. In the presented lists of titles of scientific publications, quartiles are not indicated, and impact factors are listed in descending order.