The impact factor, often abbreviated IF, is a measure reflecting the average number of citations to articles published in science and social science journals.
In a given year, the impact factor of a journal is the average number of citations received per paper published in that journal during the two preceding years. For example, if a journal has an impact factor of 3 in 2008, then its papers published in 2006 and 2007 received 3 citations each on average. The 2008 impact factor of a journal would be calculated as follows:
- A = the number of times articles published in 2008 and 2009 were cited by indexed journals during 2010
- B = the total number of "citable items" published by that journal in 2008 and 2009. ("Citable items" are usually articles, reviews, proceedings, or notes; not editorials or Letters-to-the-Editor.)
- 2010 impact factor = A/B.
(Note that 2010 impact factors are actually published in 2011; they cannot be calculated until all of the 2008 publications have been processed by the indexing agency.)
We collected data on the web through the following procedure:
a) Starting from a series of listings provided by various sources (e.g. Wikipedia list of academic journals and RePEc list of economics journals), the journals' web sites have been browsed to see their ISI Impact factor which is generally reported on the home page. The sources of this information are the journals' web sites.
b) Journals have then been ordered according to their ISI Impact factor.
c) We repeated the exercise for different social disciplines (e.g. economics, sociology, political science, psychology, business and so on).
Ranking of top 20 Economics journals
1 Journal of Economic Literature: 6.919
2 Quarterly Journal of Economics: 5.647
3 Journal of Financial Economics: 4.020
4 Econometrica: 4.000
5 Journal of Economic Geography: 3.937
6 Journal of Political Economy: 3.841
7 Journal of Finance: 3.764
8 Review of Environmental Economics and Policy: 3.645
9 Journal of Economic Perspectives: 3.557
10 Economic Geography: 3.452
11 Experimental Economics: 3.300
12 Journal of Economic Growth: 3.083
13 Value Health: 3.032
14 Review of Economic Studies: 2.904
15 Pharmacoeconomics: 2.612
16 Journal of Accounting & Economics: 2.605
17 Journal of Environmental Economics & Management: 2.581
18 Review of Economics and Statistics: 2.555
19 American Economic Review: 2.531
20 Ecological Economics: 2.422