Skip to Main Content

POSC 230: Methods of Political Research

Professor Greg Marfleet - Spring 2024

Journal Citation Reports

Finding Journal Rankings

Journal Citation Reports (JCR), which can be accessed from Web of Science, allows you to see the top journals in your discipline. The journals are ranked according to impact factor, a simple (but widely-relied upon) formula that divides the number of citations to articles published in the journal in the two preceding years by the total number of citable articles published by that journal in that timeframe. To access the Impact Factor for political science journals, follow these steps:

1. Access Web of Science from the library's A-Z Database list. Select Journal Citation Reports at the top of the page.

Screenshot of Web of Science homepage, highlighting the location of link to Journal Citation Reports


2. Select Browse by Category on the JCR landing page. Make sure you are in the Journals by Rank tab (highlighted in red), then hit Select Categories in the left navigation bar. Choose Political Science, and the top ranking journals in the field will appear. Click on the journal to learn more about the journal's analytics. This will not allow you to search within that specific journal.

Journal Citation Reports page, showing how to select the top journals for Political Science.


Searching within a Top-Ranked Journal

In order to search within a top-ranked journal, you will to return to the Web of Science homepage. There, you will want to click +Add Row and select Publication Name from the drop-down menu. In the first search bar, enter your topic; in the second search bar, type the full name of the journal you wish to limit your search to. 

Image showing how to search within a specific journal in Web of Science

The search results will default to sorting articles by Date. In order to see search results sorted by Times Cited, you will need to select that option above the results. In order to filter your results by date (to, say, limit only to publication in the last five years), use the Publication Years facet in the left navigation bar. 

How to sort Web of Science results by times cited.