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Researcher Visibility and Impact: Journal Metrics

A guide into Academic or Researcher visibility

Impact factor


What is an Impact Factor?

  • Impact Factors are used to measure the importance of a journal by calculating the number of times selected articles are cited within a particular year or period. 
  • The higher the number of citations or articles coming from a particular journal, or impact factor, the higher it is ranked.
  • Journal Impact Factor is also important when you want to compare journals in the subject category (Elsevier, n.d)

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Accredited Journals

The South African Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) maintains a list of South African journals that meet criteria set out in the DHET Journals Accreditation Policy (DHET, n.d.). The DHET Accredited Journals List includes South African and International Journals and a new list is revised and made available annually. 

Access the DHET Accredited Journals List from the UJ Research Office Website


The Clarivate Analytics Impact Factor the impact factor is useful in clarifying the significance of absolute (or total) citation frequencies.

Clarivate Analytics does not depend on the impact factor alone in assessing the usefulness of a journal, and neither should anyone else (Clarivate, c2021).


Scopus is an abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature: scientific journals, books, and conference proceedings (Scopus, 2020).

Scopus indexed (or listed) journals are also included in the DHET Accredited Journals List.

Journal Ranking Quantiles

Journal quartiles are four quartiles used by Journal Citation Reports (JCR) and Scimargo Journal Rankins (SJR) (Scopus) used to rank journals in each subject, in addition to the journal impact factor.

The four quartiles (Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4) rank journals from highest to lowest based on their impact factor or impact index.