Calculating the Impact of a Journal:

Using Web of Science's Eigenfactor as a Valuable Metric for Your Research

By Emily Leister on Jan 5, 2023
A few months ago, Web of Science released its Journal Comparison Report (JCR) for 2022. Within the report, there are 6 metrics for SCIE and SSCI journals, and three metrics for ESCI journals to help ascertain the citation usage and impact each journal has within the academic community. One of the metrics used is called the Eigenfactor and it is as much an anomaly as it is useful.
What is the Eigenfactor?
eigenfactor According to Web of Science, the Eigenfactor was introduced back in 2006 as an alternative way of deciphering a journal’s impact, as well as building upon the idea of the Journal Impact Factor (JIF). The JIF has the tendency of ranking all journal citations the same, even when some topic areas have more references per paper than other journals under the overall topic area. Ideally, the Eigenfactor was created to counteract this by using the whole citation network instead of relying solely on local citation information.
Taken specifically from Web of Science, the Eigenfactor Score for all journals in the JCR adds up to 100. There are 21,000 or so journals within the entire Web of Science JCR that have to share their scores with every other journal, which means that most journals will have very small scores unless the journal is a part of a very popular topic like science or medicine. In order to interpret the Eigenfactor score, you need to multiply each score by 1/100 and then multiply those numbers by the total number of journals in the JCR (21,429 as of June of 2022). For example, if the Eigenfactor score calculates into a 2, it means that the journal is 2 times more influential as the average journal in the JCR.
How do I increase my journal’s Eigenfactor?
As is the case with any index, the best way to increase your journal’s stance or status is to increase the discoverability of the journal as much as you can. While the publisher can ensure that the metadata is accurately shared via partners, distribution channels, discoverability platforms, indices, repositories, and more, the true power lies with the authors and editors of the journals as they are the experts in their field and they know others who can benefit from the research. Some of the ways that authors can increase the visibility of their research include:
  • Recommending the journal or research to the institution’s library
  • Posting articles to institutional repositories or secure personal websites
  • Sharing with colleagues and students
  • Sharing via social media
  • Creating a short video (60-90 seconds) discussing the research to post on any channel. Click here for more information.
A huge factor in increasing a journal or article’s discoverability depends on if it is published under Open Access (OA). Many authors have reported seeing an increase in usage of up to 109% after converting their work to OA. OA publishing opens a door to endless amounts of possibilities to share your work to OA repositories, to the general public, and to anyone who has access to a computer. The table below showcases the additional sharing capabilities that an OA publication allows:
Sharing Capabilities
Open Access ArticleStandard (Non-OA) Access Article
Post full article to institutional repository.
Post full article to secure personal website.
Post full article to social media.
Post title and abstract to social media.
Share full article with colleagues and students.
Share title and abstract with colleagues and students.
Post full article on general open access sites for free download and distribution, such as ResearchGate, arXiv, Academia.edu, SSRN, or society-sponsored sites.
Use in a coursepack without having to secure the consent of IGI Global.
Be given to a commercial third party to post, copy, distribute, sell or give for free or for any monetary consideration.
Republish the article in a future book or journal publication.
If you wish to achieve greater sharing power for your work, which includes the ability to freely distribute the full-text published version of your manuscript without any restrictions, we strongly encourage you to consider converting your manuscript from standard access to open access under our Retrospective Open Access Program. Once converted to open access, the copyright for your published work will be transferred back to you and you will be able to post and freely share your published manuscript wherever you wish including to ResearchGate, arXiv, Academia.edu, SSRN, and society-sponsored sites. This will help further increase the overall impact and reach of your work.
Content that has been converted from standard subscription-based access to open access benefit from tripled citation rates. Reduced open access processing charges are provided for retrospective open access, and you may also utilize an exclusive 20% contributor open access discount to further reduce the cost. You will see the option to convert your work while you are logged into your Personal Library. For questions regarding the Retrospective program, please view the Newsroom article entitled, “Increase Citation Impact for Previously Published Research Work” or email the Open Access Department (openaccessadmin@igi-global.com).
Conclusion
The purpose of the Eigenfactor is to help niche journals combat the Journal Impact Factor, which favors more broad journal topics. Essentially, the Eigenfactor puts all journals on an even playing field with a larger pool of data and pulling metrics from the entire citation network in order to evaluate the importance of each journal. A good visual reference to help better understand the differences between the Eigenfactor and the JIF is in the infographic below adapted from Eigenfactor.org’s “About the Egenfactor® Project” article (n.d.).
Figure adapted from “About the Eigenfactor® Project” (n.d)
Whether it be the Eigenfactor, the Journal Impact Factor, or even the total number of citations, sharing the work and getting research out there benefits authors and the journal in its indexing efforts. If you would like to have a better understanding of where and how your research can be shared, I suggest reading up on IGI Global’s Fair Use Policy. For more information about the Eigenfactor, you can browse the references below.
References
Eigenfactor.org. (n.d.). About the Eigenfactor® Project. Eigenfactor.
http://www.eigenfactor.org/about.php
West, J., & Bergstrom, C. (2017). A closer look at the eigenfactor™ metrics. Clarivate.
https://clarivate.com/blog/closer-look-eigenfactor-metrics/
About IGI Global

Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA with a subsidiary office (IGI Science and Technology, Ltd.) operating out of Beijing, China, IGI Global is a leading medium-sized independent international academic publisher of scholarly reference sources. They are committed to facilitating the discovery of pioneering scientific research that enhances and expands the body of knowledge available to the research community through traditional and open access publishing workflows. Working in close collaboration with more than 150,000+ expert researchers and professionals from leading institutions, IGI Global publishes quality peer-reviewed content across 350+ topics in 11 core subject areas, including business, computer science, education, engineering, healthcare, social sciences, and more. Learn more about IGI Global here.

Newsroom Contact

Emma Baronak
(717) 533-8845 ext. 183
ebaronak@igi-global.com
www.igi-global.com

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