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Quality indicators

Quick guide

Indicator Where can I find this? Why is this useful?
Inclusion on curated lists

Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2023 Submission Journal List 


  • Funding and reputation - journal titles need to be on the list to count for ERA
  • Criteria - journals are scholarly and contain peer reviewed original research
  • Australian relevance - list compiled in consultation with universities and peak bodies, and includes titles where Australian researchers are actively publishing

Note: in early Sept. 2022, it was announced that an ERA round will not be conducted in 2023. The current and future utility of this journal list is undetermined at this time.

  Australian Business Deans Council Journal Quality List
  • Recognised Australian list for assessing quality of scholarly business journals (accounting, marketing, economics, etc.)
  CORE Rankings Portal
  • Provides conference and journal rankings in computer science
  • Australian relevance - coordinated by Computing Research and Education Association of Australasia
Indexed in prestigious citation databases

Clarivate Analytics Master Journal List

Essential Science Indicators Journal List

  • Publications indexed by Clarivate Analytics' Web of Science Core Collection must meet selection criteria
  • Articles need to be in this subset of journals indexed by Web of Science to be included in Essential Science Indicators - Highly Cited Papers, Hot Papers and Highly Cited Researchers
  Scopus Sources
Peer reviewed

Journal's own website

UniSA databases

Cabell's Directories

Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory

  • Peer review is a major indicator of quality in academic publishing
  • Some databases and lists only include peer reviewed journals
  • Cabell's Directories (selection policy) and Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory indicate which journals are peer reviewed but lists may be out-of-date and it is always best to check the journal site itself
Citation metrics and rank in subject category 

Journal Citation Reports (JCR)

Web of Science

  • Find journal metrics including impact factor and rank in category for approx. 9,500 science journals and 3,500 social science journals
  • A standard source of journal performance metrics for certain disciplines but with minimal coverage of journals in others (especially the humanities)
  • In 2021 expanded to over 20,000 journals by including all titles in the Arts & Humanities Citation Index and Emerging Sources Citation Index - these titles have the new Journal Citation Indicator metric (not the Impact Factor)
  • See the Finding Journal Impact Factors and journal rank in a category Research Quick Guide
  • Find journal metrics including CiteScore, SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) and rank in category
  • Broader journal coverage than JCR with approx. 25,000 titles
  • Metrics available for several hundred book and conference proceedings series
  SCImago Journal & Country Rank
Indexed in key disciplinary databases UniSA databases
  • Inclusion indicates relevance to discipline
  • Discoverable by other scholars
Acceptance rates Cabell's Directories
  • Not available for all journals - Cabell's provides acceptance rates for some titles
  • The lower the acceptance rate, the higher the perceived quality of the journal

Citation metrics - how are they calculated?

CiteScore 2022 methodology

Based on Scopus data, the CiteScore is an indicator of the average number of citations a document will receive over a four year publication window. The CiteScore 2022 is calculated by dividing the number of citations received in 2019-2022 to articles, reviews, conference papers, book chapters and data papers by the number of publications indexed by Scopus and published in the same time period.

How the journal impact factor is calculated









Journal Citation Reports provide the widely known Journal Impact Factor and, from 2021, the Journal Citation Indicator.

Based on Web of Science data, the Impact Factor is an indicator of the average number of citations that can be expected for an article in that journal in the first two years of publication. The Impact Factor 2022 is calculated by dividing the number of citations received in 2022 to articles and reviews published in the previous two years, 2020-2021.

How Scimago Journal Rank (SJR) is calculated

Scopus Training video 'Overview of journal metrics in Scopus' (video length: 3 min 49 sec).

Coverslide for Scopus Training video 'Overview of journal metrics in Scopus'

Factors that influence metrics

When assessing the quality of a particular publishing avenue (whether journal, book publisher or other) it's best to use a combination of quantitative and qualitative factors to inform your decision.

Citation analysis does not tell the full story. These are just some of the factors that can affect citation metrics:

  • a highly ranked journal might have published just a few papers attracting a lot of attention, with many others uncited
  • a journal may have received a high number of citations because it published one or more controversial or refuted articles
  • amount and type of publications covered by the metrics source

Looking for more on metrics?

Visit UniSA's Metrics and Impact Guide, and see the Journal metrics tab.