SCIRP’s Journal Ranking comprises the compilation and sorting of all results gathered from the pages called “Journal Metrics / Impact Factor” of each journal. The page can be reached by clicking “Google-based Impact Factor” on the journal home page (Figure 1).
The Journal of Quantum Information Science (JQIS) is the winner of SCIRP’s Journal Ranking 2015 and achieved 143 %. Congratulations! Many well performing journals follow on the ranking list. SCIRP’s journal ranking is based on the h5-index of its journals in relation to other journals in the same scientific field. JQIS achieved also the highest 2-year Google-based Journal Impact Factor (2-GJIF = 1.58) among the top-20 journals at SCIRP.
Journal Metrics and Suitability for Ranking
SCIRP calculates several journal metrics:
- 2-year Google-based Journal Impact Factor (2-GJIF) together with the Self-Cited Rate (FAQ 6.2)
- h-index (not further discussed in this blog post)
- h5-index (FAQ 6.3)
- average number of citations per paper (FAQ 6.3)
All these metrics have different values in different research areas (fields), because quoting traditions can be different. If e.g. in one research area papers on average have a longer List of References the usual number of citations for a paper in that research area will also be higher. For this reason, journals should only be compared within their own scientific field.
Google’s Journal Ranking
It comes handy that Google offers a journal ranking based on the h5-index. Google has:
- one global list of Top-20 journals (covering all journals),
- 8 lists of Top-20 journals in general fields:
- Business, Economics & Management
- Chemical & Material Sciences
- Engineering & Computer Science
- Health & Medical Sciences
- Humanities, Literature & Arts
- Life Sciences & Earth Sciences
- Physics & Mathematics
- Social Sciences
- many lists of Top-20 journals in specific fields subordinate to each general field.
SCIRP’s Method for Journal Ranking
For comparison, each journal at SCIRP has been allocated to one of Google’s fields. The field can be found on the page “Journal Metrics / Impact Factor” of each journal and in the table with SCIRP’s Journal Ranking (see at the end of this article). A journal covering a broad and general research area – e.g. Engineering – is allocated to one of Google’s general fields – in this case Google’s field “Engineering & Computer Science“. SCIRP’s journal is then compared in the selected list to journal number 20 of the given Top-20 journals in that field.
A journal in a more specialized research area at SCIRP is e.g. the Open Journal of Fluid Dynamics. It is allocated the specific field at Google that fits best – Fluid Mechanics – and is compared to journal number 20 in this list.
The selection of the field for each of SCIRP’s journals is important for the outcome in SCIRP’s internal ranking. The h5-Index for journals in general fields is higher than the h5-Index for journals in specific fields. It is somewhat unfair for a journal at SCIRP in a specialized research area that has no counterpart in Google’s breakdown of fields. In this case there is no other choice as to compare the h5-Index of the journal in the specialized research area with the h5-Index calculated by Google in the superordinate general field.
There are many good journals in the world. Many are around for decades and because of that are (still) subscription based (toll access). SCIRP’s journals are Open Access and have the advantage of granting better reader and reuse rights, however it is rather unlikely that many of SCIRP’s (comparatively young) journals will be among the Top-20. This follows already from the definition of the h5-index (FAQ 6.3), which takes into account the last 5 years of citations. The h5-index can also be calculated for journals younger than 5 years, but only with a substantial penalty. Journals at SCIRP have an average age of 3.7 years, so the problem to compete is apparent.
Still it is interesting to see how close SCIRP’s journals make it to the global Top-20 journals. This is first of all expressed in the difference (Delta) of the h5-index to the bottom end (journal number 20) in Google’s list. Figure 2 illustrates this with an imaginary example: Journal number 20 in Google’s list may have a h5-index of 10, SCIRP’s journal in comparison has only a h5-index of 6. Therefore the difference (called “Delta h5”) is 4.
For a journal comparison the absolute difference in the h5-index is meaningless, because in an other field, journal number 20 may have an h5-index of say 20. So a relative difference to journal number 20 needs to be calculated – or even better: the percentage with which SCIRP’s journal makes it up to the h5-index of journal number 20 taken in the same field. This is a fair comparison and is called in short “1-rel.Delta h5”. The yellow bar in Figure 2 illustrates this for one journal below the reference journal number 20. The orange bar illustrates this for a journal performing above the reference journal. Equations are given in Figure 3.
It is possible that a well performing journal at SCIRP may have a higher h5-index than journal number 20 in Google’s list, but is NOT included in Google’s list. This can happen when Google (for whatever reason) did not come across SCIRP’s journal and did not so far calculate the h5-index for it.
Google Scholar has selected 41 (16.4 %) of SCIRP’s journals for h5-index calculation. Selection does not seem to depend on any of the journal performance parameters. At Google, a selected journal is shown with the calculated h5-index and the first h5 most cited articles from the journal. This is e.g. JWARP’s page at Google Scholar. The links to the journal page at Google Scholar is found (if available) by searching for the journal name at Google Scholar.
- All of SCIRP’s journals are indexed by Google Scholar, but not all are included in Google’s calculation of the h5-index.
- Google calculated the h5-index for journals the last time in June 2014. SCIRP’s own calculation (based on Google Scholars current database) was done with data from January 2015. During the time period June 2014 to January 2015 most of SCIRP’s journals already advanced in comparison to other journals. This is the reason, why h5_SCIRP is generally higher than h5_Google.
Results from SCIRP’s Journal Ranking
The results from SCIRP’s Journal Ranking are given in Figure 4. Shown are the Top-20 of SCIRP’s journals in accordance with the calculation as explained above. Journals have not been numbered in the ranking. It was decided not to number the journal in the ranking, due to systematic difficulties in the calculation and unfairness (see detailed discussion above). The ranking does not want to show accuracy with an explicitly numbered sequence which it can not hold. Nevertheless, the ranking does certainly show the top performing journals at SCIRP. JQIS and JMMCE are the two top journals and score above 100 %. Unfortunately, none of the two journals has yet been discovered by Google Scholar. They are good candidates for the next issue of Google’s Top-20. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!
- JQIS (Journal of Quantum Information Science) is leading SCIRP’s ranking with h5-index = 10 which is 143 % of the h5-index of the number 20 journal in its field,
- JMMCE (Journal of Minerals and Materials Characterization and Engineering) has the highest h5-index = 18 among SCIRP’s journals,
- JWARP (Journal of Water Resource and Protection) is the journal with the highest h5-index = 13 (93 % of the h5-index of the number 20 journal) among those journals at SCIRP selected for Google’s own h5-index calculation. Let’s see, if it can increase its performance until Google’s next update to make it into the Top-20 in its field.
Other journal statistical data, productivity, and impact are given in Figure 5.
LEGEND ______________________________________________________________________________________ Y_start Year in which the journal got started Y Age of the journal in 2015 P_total Number of papers published since start of journal P_2014 Number of papers published in 2014 C_total Number of citations to all papers in the journal since journal start C_2014 Number of citations to all papers in the journal received in 2014 C_total / Y Average number of citation to papers in the journal per year C_total / P_total Impact expressed by the average number of citations per paper 2-GJIF 2-year Google-based Journal Impact Factor Self-Cited Rate Percentag of citations coming from own journal
The 2-year Google-based Journal Impact Factor (2-GJIF) is intended as SCIRP’s primary journal metric, because of the hype about the impact factor of journals in general. For a journal ranking, the problem was just that no 2-GJIF-based ranking of other journals was available. As such there is no possibility to adjust the 2-GJIF according to the scientific field of the journal.
A ranking which relies purely on the 2-year Google-based Journal Impact Factor (2-GJIF) is given in Figure 6. Here the winner is the journal Soft with 2-GJIF = 2.83. Soft has only published 10 papers. Two of its papers have been cited. Amazingly, one paper was cited 18 times and another paper was cited 4 times. The good thing about the impact factor definition is certainly its independence on journal size; nevertheless, extreme results (like this one) are possible if the journal has published only very few papers. Congratulations to the journal Soft for winning in the category “uncorrected 2-GJIF”. Let’s hope Soft can maintain its position as more papers are published.
Once again back to theory: The impact factor measures a ratio independent of the absolute number of citations. The h-index looks at number of citations and number of papers. As both numbers grow over time h grows. The h5-index limits the growth by looking at the last 5 years, but still a high h5-index can only be achieved with many citations (based on many papers).
In order to eliminate the effect of journals with only few citations and a low h5-index let’s now look for the winner for the 2-GJIF among SCIRP’s top-20 journals (top-20 is h5-based and adapted to the scientific field). Here the winner among the top-20, JQIS (Journal of Quantum Information Science), is also SCIRP’s winner with 2-GJIF = 1.58. Second place based on 2-GJIF is NJGC which is “only” on rank 5 according to the h5-based evaluation. NJGC (as well as JQIS) is only operating for 4 years and suffers in the h5-based evaluation. It remains to be seen how much the journal can benefit in SCIRP’s Journal Ranking next year when getting out of this handicap.
JMMCE (Journal of Minerals and Materials Characterization and Engineering) is SCIRP’s winner when considering raw impact described by C_total / P_total = 5.0, which is the impact expressed by the average number of citations per paper (since journal start).
So far we looked at the h5-index, 2-GJIF, and C_total / P_total. These are relative performance metrics. Now let’s look at absolute numbers. Who are SCIRP’s big journals? What are their numbers? Figure 6 shows the three biggest and most successful journals in absolute numbers. No matter if you take the absolute number of papers or the absolute number of citations, these are SCIRP’s big and successful journals:
- AJPS: American Journal of Plant Sciences
- AM: Applied Mathematics
- JMMCE: Journal of Minerals and Materials Characterization and Engineering
Figure 7 shows sums and averages (whatever makes sense to calculate) for all of SCIRP’s journals.
If you are interested to see how other SCIRP journals performed, please download the spreadsheet. Two file types are provided: