Friday, November 26, 2010

Journal Citation Reports and impact factors

This example might be useful:
I have been told that the Czech journal: ‘Agricultural Economics
(Zemedelska ekonomika)’ ISSN 0139-570X, obtained an impact factor of 0.716 in 2008. I did not trust this information much and so went ahead and tried to confirm the figure. did find this impact factor at:
However, in the table they report an SCI impact factor which is probably different (not sure how much) from an ISI impact factor reported by Thompson, Reuters. I was not able to find an ISI impact factor for this journal, though I would be very grateful if you could help me out with the following:
1.       Is ‘Agricultural Economics (Zemedelska ekonomika)’ listed as a‘current contents’ journal?
2.       Is there an ISI impact factor for this journal?
3.       What is the difference between SCI and ISI?

Thank you in advance.

In answer to your question about the impact factor of Agricultural Economics (Zemedelska ekonomika), I went to ISI’s Journal Citation Reports ( and looked this journal up by ISSN in the 2009 JCR Social Science Edition and found it had an impact factor of 0.716. It does not appear to have been indexed in either the Science or Social Science editions for 2008.
As for the link you provided, they do not indicate where they are getting their data at all or how it is calculated, though it seems they may be using data from ISI’s Journal Citation Reports. However, they appear to be a commercial editing service rather than a recognized publisher and don’t credit their sources at all; therefore I would not treat this information as reliable in any way and would go directly to Journal Citation Reports.
As for the difference between SCI and ISI, SCI stands for Science Citation Index (one of the names of a section of  Web of Science, the database that is also associated with and includes Journal Citation Reports information). ISI, the Institute for Scientific Information, is part of the name of database platform Web of Knowledge that includes multiple databases including Web of Science and Journal Citation Reports. Thompson Reuters is the company that owns the whole thing. It is a little confusing because of branding issues but in general just know that it goes like this: Thompson Reuters produces ISI Web of Knowledge, which is a larger platform that includes multiple databases and tools including Web of Science (which includes in itself Science Citation Index and some elements of information from Journal Citation Reports) and Journal Citation Reports (with full analytical information including impact factor). People may refer to various parts of this platform interchangeably but essentially it’s all in the same package and if you want to find out the impact factor of a journal just go to the library website, click on Database Names and type in either Web of Knowledge and choose the Additional Resources tab or just type in Journal Citation Reports directly. I hope that helped and didn’t confuse things!
To learn more about Journal Citation Reports and impact factors, which are the standard measurement used in the field, you can find more information at and in this Quick Reference card at The Ebling Library at University of Wisconsin also has a great tutorial on impact factors and their strengths and weaknesses at
I hope this helps and please let us know if you have any other questions!

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