Journal impact analysis

The Journal impact analysis page allows you to perform a quick analysis of the impact of a journal's publications. This page contains the minimum parameters that are necessary to look up the journal's publications on Google Scholar. Publish or Perish uses these parameters to perform an Advanced Scholar Search query, which is then analyzed and converted to a number of statistics. The results are available on-screen and can also be copied to the Windows clipboard (for pasting in other applications) or saved to a text file (for future reference or further analysis). See General search if you want to perform a search with more parameters than available on the Journal impact analysis page.

The Journal impact analysis page contains the following panes:

For important background information, see:

Tip: Any queries that you execute on this page are automatically added to the Recent queries folder on the Multi-queries center page.

How to perform an Journal impact analysis

To perform a basic impact analysis:

  1. Enter the journal title in the Journal title field;
  2. Click Lookup or press the Enter key.

The program will now contact Google Scholar to obtain the citations, process the list, and calculate the Citation metrics, which are then displayed in the Results pane. The full list of results is also available for inspection or modifications and can be exported in a variety of formats.

Important note

A journal query is not the same as a standard Google Scholar search (i.e., from the Google Scholar home page); it is more specific. If you want to duplicate the results from a standard Google Scholar search, then follow the instructions on the General citation query page.

Refining your analysis

In many cases, the list of results will contain works of journals that are not the intended journal. You can refine the citation search and analysis with one or more of the following methods. See Accuracy of the results for additional notes and cautions.

Tip: Title matching is case-insensitive; Journal, journal, and JOURNAL all match the same publications.

Warning If you change the any of the fields (except the selections in the Results list), you must resubmit the search by clicking Lookup again.

Quoting the journal's title

Google Scholar is sensitive to the word order in the journal title field. Hence Journal of Management will not match Strategic Management Journal or The Academy of Management Journal. However, it will match Journal of Management Studies, British Journal of Management, Australian Journal of Management, etc., in addition to the required Journal of Management.

In order to avoid this put "quotes" around the journal title: "Journal of Management" will only be matched by the journal in question (it will not be matched by Journal of Management Studies). This is not true for all journals though. "Accounting and Finance" is also matched by Review of Accounting and Finance, Bank Accounting and Finance and Journal of Corporate Accounting and Finance.

Google Scholar will also provide results where the search term matches the publisher rather than the source title, i.e., a working paper published by a Department of Accounting and Finance might also match the above search. For further details see Accuracy of the results and the section Searching for journal titles that include common words (below) .

Excluding certain journals

To exclude certain journal titles, enter them in the Exclude these words field. For example, to exclude journals with the word Bank in their title from the earlier example, enter Bank in the Exclude these words field. You can enter more than one exclusion in Exclude these words: Review Bank would exclude all journals whose titles contained either or both these words. This strategy needs to be applied with care, however, as Google Scholar matches "exclude these words" anywhere in the papers (i.e. including the list of references for those publications that have full-text online access).

Restricting the years of publication

If you know that a certain journal only existed after (or before) a certain year, you can enter the start or end years in the Year of publication between ... and ... fields. You can also use these fields if you want to analyse the journal's publications from a given period.

Include or exclude individual works

If the list of results is fairly limited, you can manually include or exclude citations from the analysis by checking or clearing the boxes in the Results list.

Tip: In contrast to the other refinements, changes in the Results list take effect immediately and are reflected in the summary field. You do not have to resubmit your search.

Here are some shortcuts:

You can also select a consecutive range of items in the list (left-click on the first item, then hold either Shift key and left-click on the last item) and use the Check selection/Uncheck selection buttons to check/uncheck all selected items and recalculate the citation statistics.

Searching for citations of chapters in an edited volume

To find citations of chapters that appear in an edited volume, use the following parameters:

Searching for journals using ISSNs

It is possible to conduct a journal impact analysis using ISSNs instead of journal titles. In order to do so use the General citation search tab and include the ISSN in the field The phrase.

Considerable caution is necessary in using this approach, because Google Scholar results do not seem to be identical when using the ISSN instead of journal title. For many journals the differences are only small, with the h-index generally being 1-4% lower when using ISSN searches. However, for some journals differences are much larger: Journal of Applied Psychology for instance registers a 15% lower h-index when searching with its ISSN. Finally, for some journals (e.g. Australian Journal of Management) Google Scholar provides virtually no hits when searching with their ISSN. I would therefore not recommend using ISSNs except to exclude false hits when searching for journal titles that include common words.

Searching for journal titles that include common words

Although Google Scholar provides good results for most journal titles, journal titles that include common words provide some difficulties.

The journal impact analysis uses the Google Scholar Advanced query "return articles published in". Google Scholar interprets this query broadly and returns matches for both the publication and the publisher. This means that a search for a relatively generic journal title such as Information Systems Research might get additional matches in the publisher field, such as Center for Information Systems Research, or even the eventual co-sponsor/co-publisher of MIS Quarterly (Management Information Systems Research Center, University of Minnesota), even though this is not directly visible in the Google Scholar output.

As a result most hits for a citation analysis for the journal Information Systems Research would be papers published in MIS Quarterly, which on average tend to be more highly cited than papers in Information Systems Research. Including MIS Quarterly in the Exclude these words field is not an option, because Google Scholar matches the exclusion words anywhere in the paper and would therefore also exclude any papers in Information Systems Research that merely refer to papers published in MIS Quarterly (which is likely to be the case for a very substantial number of papers).

One of the two following strategies is recommended to calculate the citation impact in this and similar cases:

  1. Search for Information Systems Research without any exclusions.
  2. Sort the results by Publication.
  3. Unselect all papers.
  4. Manually selected all papers published in Information Systems Research and click Check selection.

This is probably the fastest option, but might not provide completely accurate results in cases where there are a lot of false hits. Since Google Scholar limits the total number of results to 1000, the false hits might suppress some papers of the journal of interest that are not as highly cited. This is most likely to be a problem in disciplines where papers are generally highly cited (e.g. medicine), but it might make a difference for other fields as well. Citations metrics such as the total number of citations and citations per paper are more sensitive to different search strategies than citation metrics such as the h-index, which will generally not be influenced by this.

The second strategy safely eliminates false hits and hence provides a more accurate result:

  1. Search for Information Systems Research, but include the ISSN of MIS Quarterly (0276-7783) in the Exclude these words field. This prevents Google Scholar from excluding all ISR papers that include a MISQ reference in their list of references, but still excludes the many MIS Quarterly hits. Additional exclusions are possible, as long as they are unique enough to not be likely to appear anywhere in papers published in ISR.
  2. Sort the results by Publication.
  3. Unselect all papers.
  4. Manually selected all papers published in Information Systems Research and click Check selection.