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Difference Between Impact Factor And Citation Index In Scientific Journals & Papers

What’s the difference between impact factor and citation index in scientific journals & papers? Many researchers are confusing with the impact factor and citation index. Here’s the difference between impact factor and citation index.

Impact Factor
The impact factor (IF) is the average number of citations received for each published article in that particular year. Impact factor determines the ranking of a journal in that specific category, which can be found in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR). Impact factor of a research paper is calculated based on a two-year period divide the frequency of articles being cited by the number of articles that are citable. Example of 2015 IF of a journal is shown below:

C/D = 2015 Impact Factor, whereby

C = frequency of articles published in 2013 and 2014 were cited by the indexed journals during 2015.

D = total number of citable research articles published in 2013 and 2015.

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Difference Between Impact Factor And Citation Index In Scientific Journals-EdiThumbs

Impact factors are crucial in the following context:

  • For promotion purpose
  • To select outstanding candidates for a position as academic staff in this competitive era
  • To select receivers of the research grants
  • To select reviewers and editors for journals or speakers on conferences

h-IndexDifference Between Impact Factor And Citation Index In Scientific Journals-EdiThumbs
The h-index is totally different compared to impact factor as it measures a researcher or scientist performance based on his or her research publications and lifetime citations. For example, their h-index is 91 if 91 articles have each received at least 91 citations. The h-index measurement is based on the following criteria:

  • Quantity of publications
  • Number of citations

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You can always check the ISI journal citation reports ranking and impact factor before submitting your research paper manuscript to specific journal.

If you have any point of view regarding the difference between impact factor and citation index in scientific journals & papers, feel free to comment!

Chiong Sie Jing

Chiong Sie Jing

Sie Jing is an experienced proofreader and copyeditor with 8+ years of experience proofreading and editing for a variety of clients. He has helped many PhD students to publish their research in international journals with high impact factor. He is also a Certified Internet Marketing Practitioner (CIMP) & Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB).