Evaluation Methodology

Factors that ASJR consider for arriving at Journal Contextual coherence and Capability - Impact Factor (JCC)

Journal citation measures are designed to assess significance and performance of individual journals, their role and position in the international formal communication network, their quality or prestige as perceived by scholars. Scientific journals may differ with respect to their importance of their position in the journal communication system, their status or prestige.

Impact Factor (JCC), a metric, developed and promulgated by ASJR and regularly published in the annual ASJR reports is a fundamental citation-based measure for significance and performance of journals. Wherever the ASJR report is available, a variety of journal contextual citation measures including and beyond the Impact Factor can readily be built and calculated. If this is done based on a sound methodology and if the process steps are properly documented, bibliometric tools with wide fields of applications in the field of science information, information retrieval and research evaluation can be obtained from DBs originally designed for the retrieval of scientific information. Thus, especially the Impact Factor (JCC) has become perhaps the most popular bibliometric measure used in bibliometrics itself, but also outside the scientific community. Here JCC refers to the computation methodology which can be expanded as Journal Contextual coherence and Capability.

Impact Factor - JCC (JCCIF)) developed and promulgated by ASJR is completely unique, systematic and scientific way of computation and analysis based on the following

I. Governance and Commercial Quality

The following parameters are being considered for the evaluation.

1. Depends on the International indexation.
2. Number of original research papers in different disciplines.
3. Degree of acceptance of journal in the International market. Number of papers published annually from countries outside the journal's country of origin indirectly indicates a degree of the journal's acceptance on the international market. The more international publications - the higher the score.
4. Regularity of issuance, which is an important factor for a journal's stability and one of the key evaluation parameter at other international indexing databases
5. We add score to journals on their continued presence on the market.
6. Number of all papers published on annual basis Reflects potential authorship and acceptance for the journal. Only papers published in regular issues are considered. Papers published in special issues or supplements are not counted as they are not considered to undergo the regular peer-review process. It will also be assessed if the papers published in a journal come from a source associated with the publisher or editorial board only, lowering the IC score.
7. Governing bodies for the journal governance - For example, Journal Review Board, Journal Advisory Board, Executive Board etc.,
8. The International representation in the Editorial Board adds to the score, for it creates a chance to further the journal's development.

II. Editorial quality

1. Quality of Cover page [all the following items should appear clearly: title, ISSN, frequency, volume/issue/part number, month/year etc.,].
2. The leading element of editorial quality is the uniform composition of presented manuscripts and adherence to a journal's instruction for its authors. For example, The summary should count 200-250 words and have a structured form, i.e. reflect structure of an article (background, material and methods, results, conclusion).
3. References and Indices should be presented in consecutive order (as they are cited in the text). The first four authors should be presented.
4. Detailed editorial and author guidelines information regarding manuscript preparation
5. Editorial information should include a list of Editorial Board members, editorial correspondence addresses, the name and address of the publisher, ISSN and frequency of issuance (monthly, quarterly, bi annual, annual etc)

III. International presence and Infrastructure

International availability is important for the proper development of a scientific journal. Two factors are taken into consideration:

1. The language of publication: English is preferable, since this is the universal
2. Online Internet publications: The internet is an important medium for journal publications and for the exchange of professional information. It is due to its global availability, speed and low cost of publication, in comparison with printed journals. Internet availability enhances a journal's chance of broadening circulation and accelerating development. Access to editorial information, the table of contents, summaries, full text articles and search tools are evaluated. The preferred language of a website is English.
3. Sales and Marketing network and International distribution offices all over the globe for dissemination of journals.
4. Score will be more for the publishers have their own printing infrastructure as there will be less external dependency which will aid in good quality journal production with the desired quality.
5. Technical quality assesses proper presentation of the scientific content. The quality of the preprint process, especially desktop publishing (DTP), the ability to print in colour, and the quality of paper are evaluated.

IV. Contextual citation

ASJR provides a base for evaluating the quality of papers by stressing on the Context which depends on two important parameters. Viz.,Coherence and Relevance.

ASJR takes into consideration the following factors for evaluating the Coherence and Relevance parameters.

• Statement of the problem
• The way by which the purpose is established in the given context
• Methodologies followed for substantiating / justifying the proceedings / results / outcomes

In addition to this, the context is classified into two types:

a. Geographical context
b. Subject matter context

ASJR furnishes weightages (Weightages are computed based on the empirical study of millions of research papers) for all the above four factors and the weightages are applied and finally, Impact Factor (JCC) is computed.

Reasons for the evolution of another superlative metric for the assessment of quality and performance of journals and its differentiation from ISI’s metric

ISI has been regarded as the forerunner in propounding and enunciating the bibliographic metrics based on journal citations and its involvement & participation in the growth of the research world is phenomenal. Impact Factor is an index based on the frequency with which a journal’s articles are cited in scientific publications, a marker of journal quality. The Impact Factor of a journal reflects the frequency with which the journal’s articles are cited in the scientific literature and its use as an index of journal quality relies on the theory that citation frequency accurately measures a journal’s importance to its end users;

There are many advantages and merits of ISI’s Impact Factor:

• In market research, Impact Factor provides quantitative evidence for editors and publishers for positioning their journals in relation to the competition—especially others in the same subject category.

• It provides quantitative tools for ranking, evaluating, categorizing and comparing journals.

• It eliminates some of the bias of such counts which favour large journals over small ones or frequently issued journals over less frequently issued ones and of older journals over newer ones. Particularly in the latter case such journals have a larger citable body of literature than smaller or younger journals.

• It may also serve to advertisers interested in evaluating the potential of a specific journal.

• The Impact Factor is being used to provide a gross approximation of the prestige of journals in which individuals have been published.

As coin has two sides, any good thing has its own limitations as well. Following are some of the major limitations of existing methodology

• Citation based issues:

o Present methodology does not distinguish between letters, reviews, or original research. Review articles generally are cited more frequently than typical research articles because they often serve as surrogates for earlier literature. The number of citations to papers in a particular journal does not really directly measure the true quality of a journal and the scientific merit of the papers within it. It only reflects the intensity of publication or citation in that area and the current popularity of that particular topic.

o The practice of self-citation can be considered at many levels, including author self-citation, journal self-citation, and subject category self-citation. This may increase the impact factor artificially.

• Marketing & Geographical coverage :

o A title change affects the impact factor for two years after the change is made.

o It has inadequate international coverage. The coverage is very uneven. Very few publications from languages other than English are included, and very few journals from the less-developed and developing countries.

o Journals with low circulation and marketing capability, regardless of the scientific merit of their contents, will never obtain high Impact Factors in an absolute sense.

• Editorial Policy and Coverage issues :

o A journal can adopt editorial policies that can artificially increase its Impact Factor. These editorial policies may not solely urge and improve the quality of published scientific work. Journals sometimes may publish a larger percentage of review articles. While many research articles remain uncited after 3 years, nearly all review articles receive at least one citation within two to three years of publication. Present methodology does not have the capability to encounter these issues.

o Editorials in a journal do not count as publications. However, when published articles, often articles are cited, often from the same journal, those citations increase the citation count for the article

o An editor of a journal may encourage authors to cite articles from that journal in the papers they submit

ASJR’s new methodology considers existing gaps and overcomes all the issues by considering various parameters with weightages obtained from the empirical study over a period of time.

Four-year impact factor (JCC) - One year of citations to four years of articles. It also considers other parameters mentioned above for the computation of 1 year Impact Factor (JCC)

Review articles generally are cited more frequently than typical research articles because they often serve as surrogates for earlier literature, especially in journals that discourage extensive bibliographies. In the ASJR system any article containing more than 60 references is coded as a review. The Source Data Listing in ASJR report not only provides data on the number of reviews in each journal but also provides the average number of references cited in that journal's articles. Naturally, review journals have some of the highest impact factors. Often, the first-ranked journal in the subject category listings will be a review journal.

Different specialties exhibit different ranges of peak impact. That is why the ASJR provides subject category listings. In this way, journals may be viewed in the context of their specific field. Still, a four -year impact may be more useful to some users and can be calculated by combining the statistical data available from consecutive years of the ASJR. It is rare to find that the ranking of a journal will change significantly within its designated category unless the journal's influence has indeed changed