Importance of citation rate and impact factor

Citation rate and impact factor are considered as two indicators of journal quality. In traditional approaches, the total number of journal members were suggestive of the importance of a journal. However, this approach was not applicable to open journals since they do not present any hard copy.

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In an open journal system, the readers sometimes need to subscribe to the journal. These journals do not usually require membership fees; however, membership would be a suitable criterion in case membership fees are requested. Regarding open journals, numbers associated with members, reads for abstracts, and downloads of the full texts can be used as proper statistics for the credibility of a journal.

Another factor for determining the number of views on a journal website is journal weblog. Some host servers can calculate the number of views and even the locations of users. In case the weblogs are unable to determine the length of dwell time (time a user spent in a website), the properties of google analytics (https://analytics.google.com) can be used in this regard. The performance of such analyses during different times of the year for a journal can provide a comprehensive outlook about the journal content.

Regardless of researcher access to a journal, an issue of significant importance is how the researchers use the content, which is the main concern of the impact factor. Therefore, a successful and popular scientific journal is one with a high citation impact. In fact, citation impact refers to the citation counts of a journal, article, author, to the articles published in a specific journal during a period of time.  Therefore, authors are usually interested in publishing their articles in journals with high citation rate.

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