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PHYS 3050 Writing in Physics (Wilkerson): Journal Impact

Measuring Journal Impact

There are a number of impact rankings given to journals to attempt to measure how impactful, or great the reach of a journal is.  Higher impact journals are generally able to publish the most rigorous, quality research articles, so looking at journal rankings might help you determine what journals to follow and search for sources for your research.

Journal rankings are also problematic, and several different formulas to attempt to measure impact have been developed.  The different formulas each put different emphasis on different things.  Three of the measures for ranking journals are:

Find High Impact Physics Journals

Follow these steps to find ranked lists of physics journals:

Journal Impact Factor & Eigenfactor:

  1. Visit InCites Journal Citation Reports.
  2. Click on "Browse by Journal."
  3. Expand "Select Categories" and scroll through the list until you arrive at the physics categories.  You can choose one or several of these categories including applied physics; atomic, molecular & chemical physics; condensed matter physics; fluids & plasma physics; mathematical physics; multidisciplinary physics; nuclear physics; and particles & fields physics.
  4. Once you've made your selection(s) scroll down to the bottom and hit "submit."
  5. You'll get a chart that generally defaults to ranking the journals by Journal Impact Factor, highest to lowest.  You can click on Journal Impact Factor and Eigenfactor to change how the chart is ranked.


SCImago Journal & Country Reports:

  1. Visit BrowZine's list of Physics Sciences Journals, set to sort by SCImago Journal Rank (SJR).
  2. There are a number of subcategories under Physics you can select if you'd like to, including applied physics; astrophysics; atomic, molecular, and optical physics; biological and chemical physics; condensed matter physics; engineering physics; fluid mechanics; gravity and relativity; mathematical and statistical physics; nonlinear dynamics; nuclear and particle physics; physics - general/interdisciplinary; plasma and beam physics; quantum physics; superconductivity; and thermodynamics.

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Learn More - Measuring Impact


  1. Why are journal rankings important?
    1. Why are journal rankings important in the field of physics?
  2. What are some ways that journal rankings can be misleading and/or problematic?