An Impact Factor is a quantitative measure of the relative importance of a journal, individual article or scientist to science and social science literature and research.
Each index or database used to create an impact factor uses a different methodology and produces slightly different results. This is why it is important to use several sources to gauge the true impact of a journal's or scientist’s work.
This guide includes information on Journal Impact Factor, Author Impact Factor, Article Impact Factor, and Documenting Your Research Impact. The tabs on the left contain specific information about how different metrics are calculated and links to more in-depth resources.
Informed and careful use of these impact data is essential, and should be based on a thorough understanding of the methodology used to generate impact factors. There are controversial aspects of using impact factors:
Before seeking impact metrics, consider what you are trying to show, and take care to contextualize the information appropriately. The recommendations linked below outline appropriate and ethical ways to use research impact data: