Journals ranking: understanding their typology

Journal rankings are initiatives that provide a hierarchy based on citations. Therefore, it is essential first to understand what constitutes citations. Within the process of scientific research, citation plays an important role. In the context of current science, it is almost impossible to generate new knowledge without it being supported by previous evidence. In a research work, it is mandatory to cite previous works to substantiate, justify, refute, evidence, or discuss.

Citations are seen, in a simplified way, as that reference in the article’s body, or at the end of it, just after conclusions.

But a citation is nothing more than the cognitive influence one author exerts on another through his work.

This is considered impact, but citation-based impact. The impact is a multidimensional term, which is not only calculated quantitatively, as in the case of citations. The research impact can also be of social type, although this is much more complex to measure. That is why it is always good to add the last name when referring to journals: “citation” impact.

The citation impact calculation is the most established procedure for classifying scientific journals. Thus, a journal categorization system is provided from more significant to lesser importance in an ecosystem of scientific production where the volume of journals is increasing. Through the impact of a journal’s citations, its quality is considered, and although many are the detractors of this idea, it is the most predominant.

Citations occur in a given context, that is, in a given source, discipline, database, and year. All these variables are taken into account when calculating citations for a journal. This is key to understanding why journal rankings differ many times. This is because the methodologies for the calculation are different, as the citations are those represented in a given source (Web of Science, Scopus, etc.). This, together with using different bibliometric indicators, makes the rankings of journals vary. See below for a list of the most prominent journal rankings.

RankingCitation sourceScope  Citation coverage period
REDIB RankingWeb of Science Core CollectionJournals indexed simultaneously in WoS and REDIBImpact of citations that articles published by a journal in a selected year received that year and in the previous 5 years (6-year citation window).
SCImago Journal RankScopusJournals, book series, conference proceedings, and trade journals indexed in ScopusImpact of citations that articles published by a journal in a selected year received in the previous 3 years (3-year citation window).
CiteScoreScopusJournals, book series, conference proceedings, and trade journals indexed in ScopusImpact of citations that articles published by a journal in a selected year received that year and in the previous 3 years (4-year citation window).
Índice Dialnet de Revistas (IDR)DialnetSelection of the most significant journals in each specialityImpact of citations that articles published by a journal in a selected year received in the previous 5 years (5-year citation window).
Google Scholar MetricsGoogle ScholarTop 100 publications in several languagesImpact of citations that the articles published by a journal have received is determined from the H5 Index and Median Index metrics.
CWTS Journal IndicatorsScopusJournals, book series, conference proceedings, and trade journals indexed in ScopusImpact of normalized citations that articles published by a journal in a selected year received in the previous 3 years (3-year citation window).
Journal Citation ReportWeb of ScienceAll sources indexed in the Web of Science Core CollectionImpact of citations that articles published by a journal in a selected year received in the previous 2 years (2-year citation window).

References

https://www.scimagojr.com/help.php

https://service.elsevier.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/14880/supporthub/scopus/

https://soporte.dialnet.unirioja.es/portal/es/kb/articles/idr-%C3%ADndice-dialnet-de-revistas

https://scholar.google.com/intl/en/scholar/metrics.html#overview

https://www.journalindicators.com/methodology

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *