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To determine "significant" or "high impact" journals in a field of study:
- Ask advisors/department chairs
- Use journal ranking sources such as Scimago and Google Scholar (below); note that rankings will vary depending on the source used
- Search Google under "top journals in _______" or "Significant journals in _______." Limit search to .edu domain.
There are several databases that compute journal and individual author "impacts" or influence, many of which require a paid subscription. The following sources are freely available:
The SCImago Journal & Country Rank is a free portal that bases its journal rankings (impact factor) on information contained in the Scopus® database published by Elsevier B.V.
The impact factor (IF) is a measure of the frequency with which the average article in a journal has been cited in a particular year. It is used to measure the importance or rank of a journal by calculating the times it's articles are cited.
Google Scholar Metrics
This list can be sorted by broad categories and "sub-categories".
"A journal's Eigenfactor score is measured as its importance to the scientific community. Scores are scaled so that the sum of all journal scores is 100. In 2006, Nature had the highest score of 1.992." The Eigenfactor score reflects "the influence and prestige of journals." (from Cornell University Library's Guide to Author & Journal Metrics)