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Journal Impact Factor is a metric designed to compare journals to others in the same category. It reflects overall journal performance, and it does not tell you anything about an individual researcher's performance or an individual paper's performance. Nor does it allow you to predict the performance of a paper published in a particular journal. The JIF identifies the frequency with which an average article from a journal is cited in a particular year. Example JIF calculation:
Within the years used to calculate JIF, we will see papers that perform above average as well as papers that are underperforming for the journal. The JIF does not identify the individual publications that performed best in this journal. Please see the InCites Benchmarking & Analytics guide for information on normalized metrics that can be used to evaluate individual papers.
Ranking journals in a category by Journal Impact Factor can help you easily identify highly-cited journals in your field. Here are the steps for creating a journal ranking in JCR:
*JIF is designed to compare journals that belong to the same category, so applying this filter ensures that you are doing a fair journal comparison. Citation patterns and norms will differ by field, which means that the range of JIF scores will also vary by field. This indicator must be put into context in order to be meaningful.