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This guide explains the measures used for academic papers

Scopus/SciVal journal-level metrics


CiteScore (developed by Elsevier) is the main journal-level metric used in Scopus although they do include other metrics in the database. The CiteScore of a journal is calculated annually (usually June) for the previous year. In 2020 the methodology was changed. The CiteScore for a year is the average number of citations received in 4 calendar years to 5 peer-reviewed documents types (research articles, review articles, conference proceedings, data papers and book chapters) published in a journal in the same four years. In the example below, 556 documents were published between 2016 and 2019. Those documents received 1251 citations. The CiteScore is found by dividing the number of citations by the number of documents. 

To locate the CiteScore search for the title in Scopus under Sources. The journal’s profile page also includes a CiteScore Tracker for the current year and tab of rankings based on CiteScore. This metric should not be used to compare journals in different subject fields.

SCImago Journal Rank

This metric is similar to CiteScore but uses weightings to account for subject differences. It expresses the average number of weighted citations received in the selected year by the documents published in the selected journal in the three previous years, --i.e. weighted citations received in year X to documents published in the journal in years X-1, X-2 and X-3. SCImago is a field-normalised metric and can be used to compare subject fields.

Source Normalised Impact per Paper (SNIP)

This is a measure of actual citations received relative to citations expected for the serial’s subject field. A SNIP is field-normalised and can be used to compare subject fields.

The SNIP was developed by Leiden University:

CiteScore, SJR and SNIP metrics can be found on the Scopus journal profile page. They are also available in the Scopus ‘Compare Sources’ feature where up to 10 journals can be compared over time.