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Impact Factor

Journal Impact Factor is the average number of times articles from the journal published in the past two years have been cited in the JCR year. It is calculated by dividing the number of citations in the JCR year by the total number of articles published in the two previous years. An Impact Factor of 1.0 means that, on average, the articles published one or two year ago have been cited one time.  See Thomson-Reuters website for a Detailed Explanation

The 5-Year Impact Factor is the average number of times articles from the journal published in the past five years have been cited in the JCR year. It is caclulated by dividing the number of citations in the JCR year by the total number of articles published in the five previous years.  

What's a Serial, a Periodical...?

  • ​Serial:  A publication in any medium issued in successive parts bearing numerical or chronological designations and intended to be continued indefinitely.  
  • Periodical: A serial appearing or intended to appear indefinitely at regular or stated intervals. Magazines, journals and newspapers are all periodicals.
  • Journal: A periodical containing scholarly articles and/or disseminating current information on research and development in a particular subject field
  • Magazine: A periodical for general reading containing articles, stories, photographs and advertisements on a variety of subjects.
  • Refereed/ Peer-reviewed Journal: A refereed journal has a structured reviewing system in which at least two reviewers, excluding in-house editors, evaluate each manuscript and advise the editor as to acceptance or rejection. Refereed is oftern used interchangeably with peer-reviewed.

            Adapted from the ALA Glossary of Library and Information Science.

Cabell Answers: Blacklist, Whitelist, Refereed Article...

Journal Blacklist in Cabells:  a blacklist of likely deceptive and predatory academic journals. Built on objectivity and transparency, specialists analyze journals against over 60 behavioral indicators to keep the community abreast of the growing threats and to keep researchers protected from exploitative operations.
Journal Whitelist in Cabells: a searchable database of over 11,000 journals covering 18 disciplines - connecting researchers, librarians, and administrators to verified, reputable publications. Check out Cabells' newly designed journal summaries presenting their suite of journal quality metrics, now including Altmetric Reports.

Altmetric Reports in Cabells: a measurement of journal media mention data.

Refereed Article: with some exceptions, a refereed article is one that is blind reviewed and has at least two external reviewers. The blind review requirement and the use of external reviewers are consistent with the research criteria of objectivity and of knowledge.

Some journals that have attained a reputation for quality do not use either a blind review process or external reviewers. The most notable is Harvard Business Review that uses an editorial review process. Its reputation for quality results from its readership whose continual subscription attests to its quality.  

Although the type of review process and use of external reviewers is one possible definition of a refereed article, it is not the only criteria. Judging the usefulness of a journal to the advancement of knowledge requires the reader to be familiar with many journals in their specialization and make their own evaluations.