Answered By: Your Library Team Last Updated: Dec 01, 2016 Views: 23
The Journal Impact Factor is one way of evaluating academic journals, based on the average number of citations they receive. It is one of the most widely used bibliometric tools.
The best way to obtain the Impact Factor for a journal is to use Journal Citation Reports via Web of Science.
Here is some guidance on how to use Journal Citation Reports to compare journals by Impact Factor.
The Impact Factor indicates the average number of citations per paper published in a journal over a 2 year period. As the average number of citations per paper varies by academic field, it's not generally recommended for comparing journals from different disciplines (eg: biochemistry journals may have more citations on average than medical physics journals etc).
Depending on what you want to measure/compare, it is worth exploring some of the other metrics available (such as the Average Journal Impact Factor Percentile, which allows for variations between academic fields). There are also other tools for comparing journals, such as the Scopus Compare Journals Tool, Scimago and Altmetric Explorer - more information on the various tools can be found here