Home > Scholarly Communication > SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) indicator

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) indicator

Motivation: addressing a new type of journal rank algorithm for journals based on both the citations and the “prestige” of journal the article is citing from. Problem statement: using the journal impact factor to determine the quality of an individual paper has often been contested, as I have addressed earlier. Will this new concept, that uses the citations of these papers partly based on the prestige of the journals, change any of this or make the concerns worse?

Tags can be pretty useful. Using WordPress tag surfer on the tag “scholarly communication”, I ended up at this Physics Library – Davis Centre’s blog post which concerns a new journal rank/impact indicator by SCImago Research Group called the SCImago Journal Rank (SJR).

The SCImago Journal & Country Rank is a portal that includes the journals and country scientific indicators developed from the information contained in the Scopus® database (Elsevier B.V.). This platform takes its name from the SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) indicatorpdf, developed by SCImago from the widely known algorithm Google PageRank™.

The Scimago Journal Rank (SJR) is based on the transfer of prestige from a journal to another one; such prestige is transferred through the references that a journal do to the rest of the journals and to itself. The calculation of the final prestige of a journal is an iterative process, in which the prestige in the stage i of a journal depends on the prestige of the set of journals in stage i-1.

Definitely interesting, while the traditional journal impact factor is also based on the citations, this algorithm takes in account the “prestige” of those journals with the articles that do the citing as well. The idea being that a citation by an article in a high profile journal is worth more than the citation of an article in a lower profile journal. That kind of makes sense. Just like it somewhat makes sense to use the journal impact factor to determine the value of an individual article. The problem is that, while this is done often, it is not recommended by everyone. The other problem is that citations are indifferent to context. I have blogged about this in an earlier post here.

Conclusively: if you are against using the journal impact factor to determine the quality of an individual paper, then you are not going to like this new indicator of a journal’s rank. If you do think journal impact factors reflect the quality of the papers, you will most likely see the benefit of this new indicator of a journal’s rank.

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