High-impact open access journals
“Librarians are sometimes asked to identify high-impact open access journals. That’s a hard question, in part because there’s not much consensus about how to measure journal impact. But we’ll try in this and some following posts. One approach is to look at statistics that measure the average number of citations that have occurred to articles published in the journal, though there are lots of variants on that general theme... OA ranking using Scopus and SJR... One site that ranks journals is SCImago, which uses citation data from SCIverse Scopus (an Elsevier database). If we look just at open access journals (which for convenience I’ll define as journals that appear in the Directory of Open Access Journals), then we find that there are about 7300 open access journals. By comparison, Ulrich’s lists about 65,000 peer reviewed scholarly journals of any kind, so about 10% of all journals appear to be open access. A small subset of these journals have been indexed with all of their citations noted. For instance, SCIverse indexes about 18,000 journals, mostly in the sciences and engineering, but doesn’t keep track of whether particular journals are open access. For these 18,000 journals, SCImago computes something they call “SCImago Journal Rankings” (SJRs) based on the number of times citations to the journal have appeared in other indexed journals. If we combine the two sources of information (OA status from DOAJ, and SJR from SCImago), we find that about 2000 of those 18,000 journals are open access, and hence have SJR numbers. I’m attaching a table listing the 50 open access journals with the highest SJR values as of 1 March 2012. Some observations:  The highest ranked journal (Cancer Journal for Clinicians) has an SJR value of 9.895 and a Journal Impact Factor of 94.333. According to SCImago, it is the 4th most heavily cited journal among ALL journals indexed. With 62 citations per article based on SCImago calculations, its articles on average appear to be the most highly cited of any scholarly journal of any kind.  The vast majority of highly ranked OA journals are in biomedicine, though there are a few exceptions (Optics Express, PLoS One, New Journal of Physics).  Looking at the whole sample of 2014, the vast majority of titles are still in STEM disciplines, presumably because Sciverse mostly indexes science journals. So using this data might be useful to identify high-impact journals in Chemistry, but not in Political Science ... Ranking based on Article Impact... SJR is only one of many citation-based metrics. eigenfactor.org has computed a similar metric, Article Impact, based on citation data from ISI Web of Science. The list of highest-impact OA journals overlaps but is somewhat different... More Information...Resources downloadable from my website:  Tables of the 50 highest ranked OA journals, ranked by SJR and by Article Impact.  A spreadsheet containing all 2014 OA journals rated by SCImago, with additional information such as the subject area of the journal.  A spreadsheet containing 625 journals rated by eigenfactor.org ... I’ll follow up with other ways to identify high-impact journals in other posts.” [Use the link above to access the comments and discussion following the blog post].