Journal Impact Factor vs citation counts


We’re experimenting to look for any correlations between Journal Impact Factor and citation counts. The data source is from Google Scholar Classic papers.

Data source

Official journal websites and

How we do it

We copied-pasted the list from GS scholar classic papers on to spreadsheet. Journal name were extracted to make separate columns. Then JIF 2016 and 5 year JIF were extracted manually from journal’s official website. At this stage, we’re thankful that major publishers print such infos immediately in journal’s landing page. Some publishers, mostly from associations were not easily found. But interestingly a USGS report made in to the classic paper list.

Currently we only harvested the following category and sub categories.

Category: Life Science and Earth Science

Sub categories:

  • Paleontology
  • Marine science and fisheries
  • Hydrology water resources
  • Oil petroleum natural gas
  • Soil sci
  • Environmental geology eng
  • Atmospheric sci
  • Geology
  • Geochem mineralogy

We’re doing a slowly progress to add the dataset with samples from another category. However here’s our phases:

  1. Life science and earth science: done
  2. Social science and humanities/literature/arts: on progress
  3. Health/medical science and business/economic/management
  4. Physics/math and chemical/material science
  5. Engineering and computer science

Preliminary results

The resulting plots so far.

JIF vs citation counts for all publishers. Interestingly there are two poles:

  • Left pole: Elsevier, Wiley, etc
  • Right pole: Nature and Science


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JIF vs citation counts for journals published by Elsevier, Wiley dll


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JIF vs citation counts for Science dan Nature group journals


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Plot JIF vs citation counts (data CC-BY available in my OSF repo)

How to cite the data:

Irawan, Dasapta E. 2017. “Journal Impact Factor vs Citation Counts.” Open Science Framework. June 22. doi:10.17605/OSF.IO/9W6YS.

You might want to check the following articles/posts:

  • Shanahan DR. (2016) Auto-correlation of journal impact factor for consensus research reporting statements: a cohort study. PeerJ 4:e1887
  • Cantrill, S. (2016) Imperfect impact, Chemical Connections Blog, url.
  • All cited references in Shanahan (2016).