Skip to Main Content

JCU logoLibrary Guides

Research Assessment and Impact

This guide provides information about crafting impact statements and using metrics or other evidence to showcase research performance.


  • An article published in what is considered a highly ranked journal may not get cited. Alternatively, the article could be considered very influential (with many citations), but was published in what is considered a low ranked journal.
  • Journals may take 3-5 years before gaining a ranking.
  • An entity could be an institution, a research group or an individual researcher.


  • is based on the number of citations of a scholarly work in a journal over over four years, divided by the number of the same document types indexed in Scopus and published in the same four years by that journal
  • are calculated once a year, do not change over the year, and are suited to reporting a journal's citation impact
  • is not comparable across journals in different disciplines
  • suggested sources: Scopus and SciVal

Scimago Journal Ranking (SJR)

  • is based on the concept of a transfer of prestige between journals via their citation links
  • offers field normalisation for cross-disciplinary benchmarking
  • offers quartile rankings (high to low quality) starting at Q1 (green), Q2 (yellow), Q3 (orange) and finishing with Q4 (red) for journals in its database
  • suggested sources: Scopus, SciVal and Scimago.

Source-Normalised Impact per Paper (SNIP)

  • offers field normalisation for cross-disciplinary benchmarking
  • scores are the ratio of a source's average citation count and 'citation potential' (citation potential is measured as the number of citations that a journal would be expected to receive for its subject field).
  • suggested sources: Scopus and SciVal

Publications in top journal percentiles

  • indicates the extent to which an entity's research outputs are present in the most-cited journals in a database source (e.g., in the top 1%, 5% or 10% of the most cited journals). It is common to benchmark against the top 10%.
  • calculating the percentage is preferred when comparing entities of different sizes
  • offers field normalisation for cross-disciplinary benchmarking
  • suggested source: SciVal.

Journal Impact Factor (JIF)

  • is a feature of InCites, a Clarivate proprietary product that JCU does not subscribe to. However, limited information is available to the JCU community by viewing journal details in Web of Science database.
  • is not comparable across disciplines.

Metric sources at JCU

We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students, live, learn and work.Acknowledgement of Country

Creative Commons Licence
Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) 4.0 International License. Content from this Guide should be attributed to James Cook University Library. This does not apply to images, third party material (seek permission from the original owner) or any logos or insignia belonging to JCU or other bodies, which remain All Rights Reserved.