Impact Factor Calculator

Created by Rahul Dhari
Reviewed by Wojciech Sas, PhD candidate and Steven Wooding
Last updated: Sep 01, 2022

The impact factor calculator will help you determine the importance of a journal. The impact factor is one of the contributing factors to the standing of a scientific journal. It does not just influence the decision of an author to submit their manuscript in a specific journal but also their grant applications and standings.

The widespread assumption is that a paper in a journal with a high impact factor is a demonstration of the quality of the publication. The system has its downsides, though, and such statistics are often found to be misleading. That said, the impact factor still plays a vital role within the scientific community, and this article will explain to you how the impact factor is calculated.

What is impact factor?

The impact factor is a function of two parameters:

  • The number of citations in the nthn^\text{th} year; and
  • Sum of the number of publications in the last two years.

The calculation of this metric is only possible with data from two to three consecutive years. The impact factor is the ratio of the parameters mentioned above. For instance, the impact factor formula is:

 ⁣IF=Number of citations in yth yearSum of publications in last 2 years (y-1, y-2)\!\scriptsize \text{IF}\! =\! \frac{\text{Number of citations in } y^\text{th}\ \text{year}}{\text{Sum of publications in last 2 years }(y\text{-1, }y\text{-2)} }

New journals receive their impact factor after 2 years, whereas some journals also use the parameter 5-year impact factor, which is a similar metric calculated over 5 years. In that case, the impact factor formula would change to include the number of publications from the past 5 years.

How to calculate impact factor

Let's calculate the impact factor for a journal that has published 36 and 38 articles in two years and has been cited 98 times.

To calculate the impact factor:

  1. Enter the number of citations as 9898.

  2. Fill in the number of publications in y1thy-1^\text{th} year as 3636.

  3. Insert the number of publications in y2thy-2^\text{th} year as 3838.

  4. The impact factor calculator returns:

IF=9836+38=1.324\qquad\small\text{IF} = \frac{98}{36+38} = 1.324

The impact factor of the journal is 1.324, i.e., articles in this journal are cited 1.324 times in the last two years.


What do you mean by impact factor?

The impact factor of a journal is the ratio of the number of citations to the sum of publications in the last two years. It denotes the average number of citations an article receives in that journal.

How do I calculate impact factor of a journal?

To calculate the impact factor:

  1. Find the sum of the number of articles published by the journal in the last two years.
  2. Divide the number of citations by the sum obtained in the last step.
  3. The resultant is the impact factor of the journal.

What are some journal with high impact factors for mechanical engineering?

Materials Science and Engineering: R: Reports has the highest impact factor among the journals publishing on mechanical engineering. It has an impact factor between 30 and 36. It is followed by Applied Materials with an impact factor in between 30 and 33.

What is the impact factor for a journal publishing 75 articles and having 67 citations?

The impact factor of the journal is 0.893. With the number of citations as 67 and the total number of citable publications being 75, the impact factor is 67/75 = 0.893. This result implies an article in the said journal has received 0.893 citations in the last two years.

Rahul Dhari
Total citations in nᵗʰ year
Citable publications in n-1ᵗʰ year
Citable publications in n-2ᵗʰ year
Impact factor
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