Le JCR facteur d'impact (IF) et le SCImago Journal Rank Indicator (SJR) des revues françaises : une étude comparative

Abstract : One of the major functions of academic journals is to contribute to the evaluation of research activities and scientists. Invented more than 50 years ago, the ISI impact factor (IF) became the most important indicator of the quality of journals, in spite of well-known problems and critics such as the over-representation of Englishlanguage journals. This is a specific problem for French publishers and scientists; publishing in French is not valorising. Since 2007, the new SCImago Journal Rank Indicator (SJR) offers an alternative to the IF. SJR applies the Google algorithm (PageRank) to the journals of the SCOPUS bibliographic database that indexes more journals than ISI Web of Science. The goal of our study is to compare the two indicators for French academic journals, with three questions: Which is the coverage of French journals by ISI and SCOPUS (title number, scientific disciplines)? Which are the differences of the two indicators IF and SJR for the ranking of French journals? How do they cover the French academic journal publishing market (representativity)? The results of our study of 368 French journals with IF and/or SJR are in favour of the usage of the new indicator, at least as a complement to the IF. (1) Coverage: 166 journals are indexed by ISI (45%), 345 journals are indexed by SCOPUS (94%), 143 journals are indexed by both (39%). 82% of the journals are from STM, 18% are from SS&H. In particular, SCOPUS covers much better the medical and pharmacological sciences. (2) Ranking: The correlation of IF and SJR for the 143 journals with both indicators is high (0.76). The IF better differentiates the journals than the SJR indicator (155 vs. 89 rankings). On the other side, because of the larger source database, more French titles become visible on an international level through SJR than through IF. (3) Representativity: The SJR is more interesting and representative of the French academic journal publishing market than the IF (19% vs. 9%), especially for STM titles (38% vs. 19%), much less for SS&H titles (6% vs. 2%). Nevertheless, ISI (Web of Science) and SCOPUS index journals from only a small part of the French academic publishers (10%–20%). Again, SCOPUS is more representative than the ISI dababase (17% of the publishers vs. 10%). Methodological problems and perspective of a multidimensional evaluation are discussed. Our study compares the ISI impact factor (IF) with the new SJR for 368 French academic journals with IF and/or SJR. The results: The SJR coverage is better than of the IF (94% vs. 45%), especially in medical sciences. The correlation of IF and SJR for journals with both indicators is high (0.76). The IF better differentiates the journals than the SJR indicator (155 vs. 89 rankings). The SJR coverage is more representative of the French academic journal publishing market than ISI/IF (19% vs. 9%), especially for STM titles (38% vs. 19%), less for SS&H titles (6% vs. 2%).
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Journal articles
Psychologie Française, Elsevier, 2009, 54 (4), pp.287-305


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Joachim Schöpfel, Hélène Prost. Le JCR facteur d'impact (IF) et le SCImago Journal Rank Indicator (SJR) des revues françaises : une étude comparative. Psychologie Française, Elsevier, 2009, 54 (4), pp.287-305. <sic_00567847>

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