Journal Citation Reports 2021 published by Clarivate

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Clarivate Plc has released the 2021 update to its annual Journal Citation Reports (JCR).

The JCR release allows the research community to evaluate the world’s high-quality academic journals using a range of indicators, descriptive data and visualisations. The reports are used by academic publishers across the globe to evaluate the impact of their journals relative to their field and promote them to the research community.

The JCR is based on 2020 data compiled from the Web of Science Core Collection, the collection of journals, books and conference proceedings in the world's largest publisher-neutral global citation database. The structured data are curated by the team at Clarivate, who continuously evaluate and select the collections covered to ensure accuracy in journal impact evaluations. 

Clarivate says the key highlights for 2021 include:

  • More than 20,000 journals from 113 countries across five continents and 254 research categories in the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities;
  • More than 14,000 journals have at least one gold open access publication, with more than 4,600 being fully open access;
  • New expanded content: Some 8,771 journals have been added to the JCR this year with the expansion of content across the full Web of Science Core Collection. The Arts & Humanities Citation Index (AHCI) and the Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) will be included in the JCR for the first time this year, accounting for more than 70 per cent more content.
  • New Journal Citation Indicator: Developed by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) at Clarivate, this new metric represents the average category-normalised citation impact for papers published in the prior three-year period, providing a single journal-level metric that can be easily interpreted and compared across disciplines. The Journal Citation Indicator will be calculated for all journals in the Web of Science Core Collection – including those that do not have a Journal Impact Factor (JIF).
  • New user experience: The 2021 JCR offers a revamped user interface by which the layered, rich data of the JCR can be easily and intuitively explored and visualised. Graphics improve the user experience with simpler, more direct searching while affording a deeper look into the data, says Clarivate. The new interface is based on extensive user feedback and dual access to the new and old platforms will be available through the end of 2021.
  • Early Access content: The expanded coverage in this year’s release will introduce Early Access articles, reflecting the earliest availability of new research as it appears in the ‘version of record’ prior to official publication.

To support objectivity in journal selection and the integrity of the reports, Clarivate reports that it has suppressed 10 journals from the JCR this year (without presumption or accusation of wrongdoing), representing 0.05 per cent of the journals listed. Clarivate monitors and excludes journals that demonstrate anomalous citation behavior including where there is evidence of excessive journal self-citation and citation stacking. The methodology and parameters for the effect of journal self-citation on JCR metrics were updated in 2020 to better account for discipline norms, the company says. The suppression of a journal from the JCR does not equate to a de-listing from the Web of Science Core Collection.

In addition, an 'editorial expression of concern' has been issued for 11 journals with one or more published items with an atypically high-value contribution to the JIF numerator and a pattern of journal citations disproportionately concentrated into the JIF numerator. Clarivate says it will continue to review content of this type with the goal of developing additional screening for distortions of the JIF.

Keith Collier, Senior Vice President of Product, Science at Clarivate said: 'The carefully selected and structured data within the JCR allows the research community to make better informed, more confident decisions with transparent, publisher-neutral journal intelligence. In 2021, we are proud to introduce new content, a new UI and the Journal Citation Indicator, which is designed to complement the JIF – the original and longstanding metric for journal evaluation – and other metrics currently used in the research community. These latest refinements and additions to the journal intelligence platform’s existing store of resources will further support the research community with trusted insights that can inform decisions and accelerate the pace of innovation.'

Visit the Journal Citation Reports website to explore the data, metrics and analysis.