Accelerating access to biomedical evidence

Free SCImago Journal Rank + green publishing support: Elsevier puts its $$$ behind open access

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Stevan Harnad alerted me earlier this  year that Elsevier is a fully green open access publisher. Authors can archive pre-print or post-print copies (the one exception for Elsevier, according to SHERPA/RoMEO, is The Lancetonly a word-processed version of a peer-reviewed, accepted, and edited article from The Lancet can be placed on a personal or institutional websites, any time after publication.)  One of the largest biomedical journal publishers providing authors with these green options has certainly added momentum to the green open access  movement.


It was a therefore a revelation for me to discover Elsevier’s  SCImago Journal Rank (SJR), a free tool to compare  the citation data of the more than 15,000 peer-reviewed journals indexed by the Elsevier  SCOPUS database since 1996.   SCOPUS  is part of the new SciVerse umbrella (hub) and prohitively expensive for many colleges and universities. The word on SJR has  not traveled very fast, and I will try to accelerate knowledge of this tool in my own environment.

SJRHow does this tool compare with the very well know subscription product Journal Citation Reports (JCR)?  The Elsevier Bibliometrics page which offers a succinct comparison with Thomson Reuters’ JCR.  Here are the major points:

  • Five year Impact Factor:  Instead of counting citations in the previous two years and dividing by source items in those years,  as JCR does, SJR citations are counted in the previous five years and again divided by the source items published in the previous five years. Five years may be more appropriate for journals where it may take longer than two years to disseminate and respond to published works, as well as present more consistent year-t0-year variation.
  • Journal rank within a subject category may be different when using a two or a five year impact factor, so care is needed when assessing  ranked lists to describe which metric is being utilized.
  • SCImago Journal Rank, conceptually similar to the Impact Factor, uses a different scale, assigning each citation a value greater or less than one based on the rank of the citing journal. Detailed methodology is available here.
  • The broader and deeper set of data from SCOPUS provides additional types of searching analysis: country ranks, country and regional comparisons,  and maps oof co-citation relationships.
  • The use of SCOPUS data brings many more open access journals into journal analysis and comparison.

SJRRather than needing to tell you, the absence of a subscription barrier means that you can just jump right in and try it.

Yes, I feel a little late to the party, as there have been several articles looking at this new resource.


Sun, August 14 2011 » Uncategorized

3 Responses

  1. Stevan Harnad August 14 2011 @ 20:01


    A “a Word-processed version of their peer-reviewed, accepted, and edited article” is a postprint.

    Please the the self-archiving FAQ:

    “What is an Eprint?”

    “Eprints are the digital texts of peer-reviewed research articles, before and after refereeing. Before refereeing and publication, the draft is called a “preprint.” The refereed, accepted final draft is called a “postprint.” (Note that this need not be the publisher’s proprietary PDF version!) Eprints include both preprints and postprints (as well as any significant drafts in between, and any postpublication updates). Researchers are encouraged to self-archive them all. The OAI tags keep track of all versions. All versions should contain links to the publisher’s official version of record.”

  2. cjgberg August 14 2011 @ 21:59

    Stevan, I cited my source. Very carefully. I guess you have to convince the maintainers of the SHERPA/ROMEO database to update their record. They distinguish the pre-print and post-print status. Follow the link…

  3. cjgberg August 15 2011 @ 21:59

    And I see that you have made your plea for updating:

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