SCImago Journal Rank

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SCImago Journal Rank (SJR indicator) is a measure of scientific influence of scholarly journals that accounts for both the number of citations received by a journal and the importance or prestige of the journals where such citations come from. The SJR indicator is a variant of the eigenvector centrality measure used in network theory. Such measures establish the importance of a node in a network based on the principle that connections to high-scoring nodes contribute more to the score of the node. The SJR indicator, which is inspired by the PageRank algorithm, has been developed to be used in extremely large and heterogeneous journal citation networks. It is a size-independent indicator and its values order journals by their "average prestige per article" and can be used for journal comparisons in science evaluation processes.

The SJR indicator is a free journal metric which uses an algorithm similar to PageRank and provides an alternative to the impact factor (IF), which is based on data from the Science Citation Index.[1][2] Average citations per document in a 2-year period, abbreviated as Cites per Doc. (2y), is another index that measures the scientific impact of an average article published in the journal. It is computed using the same formula that journal impact factor (Thomson Reuters).


If scientific impact is considered related to the number of endorsements, in the form of citations, a journal receives, then prestige can be understood as a combination of the number of endorsements and the prestige or importance of the journals issuing them. The SJR indicator assigns different values to citations depending on the importance of the journals where they come from. This way, citations coming from highly important journals will be more valuable and hence will provide more prestige to the journals receiving them. The calculation of the SJR indicator is very similar to the Eigenfactor score, with the former being based on the Scopus database and the latter on the ISI Web of Science database.[3]


The SJR indicator computation is carried out using an iterative algorithm that distributes prestige values among the journals until a steady-state solution is reached. The SJR algorithm begins by setting an identical amount of prestige to each journal, then using an iterative procedure, this prestige is redistributed in a process where journals transfer their achieved prestige to each other through citations. The process ends up when the difference between journal prestige values in consecutive iterations do not reach a minimum threshold value any more. The process is developed in two phases, (a) the computation of Prestige SJR (PSJR) for each journal: a size-dependent measure that reflects the whole journal prestige, and (b) the normalization of this measure to achieve a size-independent measure of prestige, the SJR indicator.


A recently published paper in the Research Evaluation journal[4] shows quantitative evidence which puts into question the reliability of Scimago Journal & Country Rank as a source of information for evaluative purposes. Some of the aspects analyzed are: the lack of definition of the construct measured by SJR, it similarity to Journal Impact Factor in the results, the description of SJR by its designers as ‘ill-suited for journal metrics’, the problems associated to retrospective backups in the whole citation network, the absence of a true ranking and the inappropriate construction of quartiles, its low discriminative capacity or the plausibly misleading claims made supporting its transparency as well as its supposed manipulation resistance. Nevertheless, the fact that journals covered for one year are compared, in the same ranking, with other covered for two or three years is, according to the paper, the most relevant drawback of the indicator which is based, nevertheless, on the biggest database of its class in the world.

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  1. ^ Declan Butler (2 January 2008). "Free journal-ranking tool enters citation market". Nature 451 (6): 6. doi:10.1038/451006a. PMID 18172465. Retrieved 14 May 2010. 
  2. ^ Matthew E. Falagas et al (2008). "Comparison of SCImago journal rank indicator with journal impact factor". The FASEB Journal 22 (22): 2623–2628. doi:10.1096/fj.08-107938. PMID 18408168. 
  3. ^ "SCImago Journal & Country Rank (SJR) as an alternative to Thomson Reuters's Impact Factor and EigenFactor". 21 Aug 2008. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Mañana-Rodríguez (14 March 2014). "A critical review of SCImago Journal & Country Rank". Research Evaluation. doi:10.1093/reseval/rvu008. Retrieved 18 Aug 2010. 

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