SJR and Impact Factor difference

I am going to write about the two popular journal metrics: SJR and Impact Factor. We will also be describing the difference between SJR and Impact Factor.

In the academic world, it is very important for researchers to publish their research data and research findings in journals. Nowadays, there is a large number of publications of scientific reports by researchers. As a result, it has become necessary to evaluate the quality of journals that help in the easy management of published articles.

There are different metrics for measuring the quality of published articles. These metrics help the researchers for finding the status of their published articles. Journal metrics mainly include impact factor, h-index, cite score, and SJR ranking of the journal. These metrics can be applied to any journal, conference proceedings, and book chapters.

In this blog post, we have described the SJR, Impact Factor, and the difference between SJR and Impact Factor.

Also, read: Tips for publishing in high impact factor journals

Scimago Journal Ranking (SJR)

SJR calculation

SJR is a short form of the Scimago Journal Rank. It mainly measures the number of citations received in a year by the number of articles published in the previous 3 years. It mainly uses Scopus data to calculate the citations. With the help of Scimago, a researcher can view the ranking of the journal in different subjects. This ranking mainly depends on the quality and reputation of the journal. Generally, it has been observed that high-impact journal articles receive a large number of citations compared to low-impact factor journals.

SJR Ranking

For most of the journals, the SJR value is shown as “1” in Scopus. A SNIP score of more than 1.5 means it is a highly cited journal. The highest SJR score is for Ca-A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, which is 62.937. The following table shows the SJR ranking for some of the journals and their respective h-index.

Top Journals in different subjectsSJRH-index
Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology37.461431
Journal of Political Economy21.034186
Journal of Finance18.151299
Nature Reviews Chemistry16.46550
Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics15.623204
SJR Metrics

How to find SJR for any journal?

SJR rankings can be found for any journal for any subject on its homepage. It is an open-access website and user-friendly. It can also be used for comparing the metrics between journals and journals. Here are some of the steps that can be followed to find out the SJR of any journal:

  1. Click here for SCImago Journal & Country Rank website.
  2. Under the Rank image, select journal rank.
  3. Make your selections from the given list, which includes subject area and subject category.
  4. Click the “Refresh” button, which will generate a report of all the journals.

Impact Factor

The journal impact factor is another bibliometric index which is given by Clavirate, Web of Science. The impact factor of the journal changes every year. It is calculated by the number of citations received by the journal for the last two years to the total number of articles published in the last 2 years. Generally, if the impact factor of the journal is above 10, it is a very good publication. On the other hand, journals having impact factors below 5 and 2 are considered to be good and average respectively. It has been observed that review articles receive a large number of citations compared to the original research articles. The impact factors are frequently used as a tool by editors to show the quality of the publications in a journal. It is managed by Thomson Reuters and is published annually through journal citation reports(JCR).

How is the impact factor of any journal calculated?

The impact factor of any journal is calculated by Clarivate using the following formula:

Impact Factor Calculation

The difference between SJR and the impact factor

There are several differences between SJR and the impact factor. One of the major differences that lie between them is the type of access they provide. SJR is provided with free service. It can be used multiple times. On the other hand, the impact factor provided by JCI reports is a paid tool.

The impact factor depends upon Web of science data, whereas SJR is calculated with the help of Scopus data.

The impact factor measures the quality of the journal by taking the number of citations from published articles in the last 2 years. However, SJR measures by taking the number of citations from the last 3 years.

Apart from this, SJR covers a large amount of journal data from different languages from different countries compared to JCR.

In the field of life sciences and health sciences, the SJR indicator has the highest scores. However, in the fields of social sciences, computer science, and engineering, SJR is less effective in terms of database coverage and citation potential. It has also been observed that the journal impact factor includes only citable articles that mainly review articles and original research papers. Thus, in the journal impact factor, the effect of including more reviews can be clearly seen.

But the SJR indicator takes the number of whole documents into account. It mainly depends upon the prestige of the journals that cite reviews.

Above all, SJR considers only peer-reviewed articles, Peer conference papers, and reviews in the numerator, unlike JIF which includes all the documents in the numerator. JIF considers articles in a journal based on their popularity.

There is a limit of 33% of self -the citation rate which is measured by the SJR indicator. Thus, it can be used more effectively for the measurement of the quality of the journal than the impact factor. Moreover, there are a greater number of journal titles included in SJR than the Impact factor. This allows the researchers to compare the journals in a better way. However, if the researchers are comparing the ranking between the journals on the basis of the status of the citing journals, then SJR should be chosen over the journal impact factor.

 DatabaseCitation windowPublication WindowSubject Field NormalizationSelf-Citations
Impact FactorWoS1 year2 yearsIt does not take weighted citation into considerationIncluded
SJRScopus2 years3 yearsIt takes weighted citations based on the prestige of the citing journalNot Included
SJR and Impact Factor difference

In this blog post, I tried to explain:

Credit & Sources: SJR, Clarivate.

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