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Michigan State University

Journal Impact Factors: How To Find Impact Factors

This guide provides information on what journal impact factors are, different factors that influence impact factors, how to find impact factors, and additional readings. The examples and readings in this guide are geared towards the health sciences.


Instructions for finding impact factors, available through ISI's Journal Citation Reports (JCR) database, are listed below.

  1. From the MSU Libraries' homepage, select E-Resources (found under 'Quick Links' or by going to the 'Resources' tab).
  2. In the 'Databases' searchbox, enter 'Journal Citation Reports' and select Search.
  3. Select the 'Journal Citation Reports' link. If accessing this resource from off-campus, you will be prompted for your NetID and password.
  4. Select a JCR edition (Science or Social Science) and year. Please note, some subjects, like Nursing, appear under both editions.
  5. Next, select a search option (view journals by subject, search for a specific journal, or view all journals) to find if the journal you're looking for has an impact factor.
  6. Because impact factors mean little on their own, it's best to select the 'view journals by subject' option. You can then sort your results by impact factor so you can see where the journal you're interested in fits in.

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Michigan State University