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Correlation between the Journal Impact Factor and three other journal citation indices


  • Mark R. Elkins

    () (Royal Prince Alfred Hospital)

  • Christopher G. Maher

    (The University of Sydney)

  • Robert D. Herbert

    (The University of Sydney)

  • Anne M. Moseley

    (The University of Sydney)

  • Catherine Sherrington

    (The University of Sydney)


To determine the degree of correlation among journal citation indices that reflect the average number of citations per article, the most recent journal ratings were downloaded from the websites publishing four journal citation indices: the Institute of Scientific Information’s journal impact factor index, Eigenfactor’s article influence index, SCImago’s journal rank index and Scopus’ trend line index. Correlations were determined for each pair of indices, using ratings from all journals that could be identified as having been rated on both indices. Correlations between the six possible pairings of the four indices were tested with Spearman’s rho. Within each of the six possible pairings, the prevalence of identifiable errors was examined in a random selection of 10 journals and among the 10 most discordantly ranked journals on the two indices. The number of journals that could be matched within each pair of indices ranged from 1,857 to 6,508. Paired ratings for all journals showed strong to very strong correlations, with Spearman’s rho values ranging from 0.61 to 0.89, all p

Suggested Citation

  • Mark R. Elkins & Christopher G. Maher & Robert D. Herbert & Anne M. Moseley & Catherine Sherrington, 2010. "Correlation between the Journal Impact Factor and three other journal citation indices," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 85(1), pages 81-93, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:85:y:2010:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-010-0262-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-010-0262-0

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Thed N. van Leeuwen & Henk F. Moed, 2005. "Characteristics of journal impact factors: The effects of uncitedness and citation distribution on the understanding of journal impact factors," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 63(2), pages 357-371, April.
    2. Franceschet, Massimo, 2010. "Journal influence factors," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 239-248.
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    2. Alfonso Ibáñez & Pedro Larrañaga & Concha Bielza, 2011. "Using Bayesian networks to discover relationships between bibliometric indices. A case study of computer science and artificial intelligence journals," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 89(2), pages 523-551, November.
    3. Derek R. Smith, 2012. "Impact factors, scientometrics and the history of citation-based research," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 92(2), pages 419-427, August.
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