Journal Citation Reports (JCR) subscription ceasing

December 15, 2016

Kia ora tātou,

For many years the Library has subscribed to the Thomson Reuters Scientific (which is now called Clarivate Analytics) product Journal Citation Reports (JCR) which is used to identify journal Impact Factors.

From 2017 Clarivate are changing the way in which JCR is charged. It is being integrated into InCites, the Web of Science equivalent to the Elsevier product SciVal which is used by Research Operations.

In 2017 this new product will cost three and a half times more than the 2016 cost of JCR – and is not an inconsequential amount of money.

The main alternative to JCR is the Elsevier (Scopus) SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) product. Note that while JCR has a monopoly on the ‘official’ Impact Factor and this metric may be better known within some of the academic community than the SJR, the bibliometric literature does not point to any superiority. Quartile data for individual titles through Web of Science should suffice for PBRF.

In the past an advantage of the JCR Impact Factor over SJR has been that it is a simple transparent calculation (citations divided by documents) rather than a weighted metric, so Elsevier are now promoting the CiteScore metric which also divides citations by documents. In practice the IF and SJR ranked lists closely mirror one another in the upper quartiles (with the main differences arising from Scimago’s more extensive coverage) and this will also be true of the CiteScore metric.

Individual journal Impact Factor information is still be available through Web Of Science in the Quartile data.

As there is no need to subscribe to InCites, we have decided to let our JCR subscription expire at the end of 2016 and then review the value and new cost of JCR. In the meantime please contact your subject librarian to explore alternatives if you currently use JCR. I will be back from leave 9 January 2017 if you would like to discuss this issue directly with me.

There is information about journal ranking and impact here, which will be changed in 2017 to remove JCR. Subject librarian contact information is here

I do apologise for any inconvenience this may cause individual researchers and encourage you to make contact.

Ngā mihi
Linda Palmer
University Librarian

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