The Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge has published the 2012 Journal Citation Reports. Following similar studies I performed in the past six years (2007, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12) here is my analysis of the current status and trends for the impact factor of computer science journals.
Let me start with an overview of the method I followed. I performed my analysis on the 467 journals appearing under the Web of Knowledge's computer science subject categories: artificial intelligence; cybernetics; hardware & architecture; information systems; interdisciplinary applications; software engineering; theory & methods. Note that journals may appear in many categories. In particular, there are many overlaps between the above categories and "electrical and electronic engineering" and "operations research and management science".
Don't take this report too seriously. The impact factor is notoriously prone to misuse; let's not make the situation worse. Also note that in computer science there are tens of prestigious conferences. For a ranking of these conferences you may wish to consult the Conference Ranking Exercise performed by the Australian Government's, Excellence in Research for Australia body.
|1||ENTERP INF SYST-UK||1751-7575||9.256|
|2||IEEE T FUZZY SYST||1063-6706||5.484|
|3||INT J NEURAL SYST||0129-0657||5.054|
|4||J STAT SOFTW||1548-7660||4.910|
|5||IEEE COMMUN SURV TUT||1553-877X||4.818|
|6||IEEE T EVOLUT COMPUT||1089-778X||4.810|
|7||IEEE T PATTERN ANAL||0162-8828||4.795|
|9||IEEE COMPUT INTELL M||1556-603X||4.629|
|10||COMPUT-AIDED CIV INF||1093-9687||4.460|
The first two journals in this list are surprising: neither I nor colleagues I talked to would expect them to be ranked so highly. Read more about this after I've presented all results from this year.
|ACM T STORAGE||1553-3077||1.115|
|FRONT COMPUT SCI-CHI||2095-2228||0.298|
|IEEE T NEUR NET LEAR||2162-237X||3.766|
|INT J BIO-INSPIR COM||1758-0366||1.351|
|INT J CRIT INFR PROT||1874-5482||0.630|
|J MULTIMODAL USER IN||1783-7677||0.833|
|J ORGAN END USER COM||1546-2234||0.243|
|J SOFTW-EVOL PROC||2047-7481|
|J ZHEJIANG U-SCI C||1869-1951||0.297|
|PERVASIVE MOB COMPUT||1574-1192||1.629|
|WIRES DATA MIN KNOWL||1942-4787||1.422|
From the journals that were added to the JCR I find it notable that two journals from China-based publishers entered the list: Frontiers of Computer Science, published by the Higher Education Press (Beijing), and the Journal of Zhejiang University: Science C: Computers & electronics, published by the Zhejiang University Press (Hangzhou). Two other trends apparent from this list are bio-inspired computation (Natural Computing, International Journal of Bio-Inspired Computation, Swarm Intelligence) and user interfaces (Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces, Pervasive and Mobile Computing). I was also happy to see in the list The R Journal, published by the R Foundation for Statistical Computing, which covers the R free software environment for statistical computing and graphics.
|Name||ISSN||Last Year's IF|
|DR DOBBS J||1044-789X||0.000|
|FRONT COMPUT SCI CHI||1673-7350||0.266|
|IEEE T NEURAL NETWOR||1045-9227||2.952|
|INT J SENS NETW||1748-1279||1.386|
|INTELL AUTOM SOFT CO||1079-8587||0.116|
|J DATABASE MANAGE||1063-8016||0.875|
|J OPT NETW||1536-5379||1.079|
|J PARALLEL DISTR COM||0743-7315||0.859|
|KNOWL INF SYST||0219-1377||2.225|
|MOB INF SYST||1574-017X||2.432|
|QSAR COMB SCI||1611-020X||1.550|
|SCI CHINA SER F||1009-2757||0.656|
I was surprised to see three journals with a 2011 impact factor above two being dropped from the list: Knowledge and Information Systems: KAIS, Mobile Information Systems, and IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks. I've heard that Thomson Reuters harshly punishes journals that are found to be trying to manipulate their impact factors. Could this be such a case?
|ENTERP INF SYST-UK||1751-7575||9.256||5.572|
|IEEE T EVOLUT COMPUT||1089-778X||4.810||1.469|
|DATA MIN KNOWL DISC||1384-5810||2.877||1.332|
|IEEE COMPUT INTELL M||1556-603X||4.629||1.261|
|IEEE T FUZZY SYST||1063-6706||5.484||1.224|
|J INF TECHNOL||0268-3962||3.532||1.211|
|IEEE WIREL COMMUN||1536-1284||3.740||1.165|
|INT J DATA WAREHOUS||1548-3924||1.355||1.155|
|COMPUT-AIDED CIV INF||1093-9687||4.460||1.078|
|INT J SEMANT WEB INF||1552-6283||0.250||-2.058|
|FOUND COMPUT MATH||1615-3375||1.918||-1.697|
|SIAM J IMAGING SCI||1936-4954||2.966||-1.69|
|IEEE COMMUN SURV TUT||1553-877X||4.818||-1.493|
|ACM COMPUT SURV||0360-0300||3.543||-0.986|
|INT J UNCERTAIN FUZZ||0218-4885||0.886||-0.895|
|ANNU REV INFORM SCI||0066-4200||2.174||-0.781|
From the journals with the highest decrease in their impact factor notable is ACM Computing Surveys, which continues its 2012 drop of 3.2 points with another drop of one point to a still highly-respectable 3.5. It remains to be seen next year if this is just a reversal to the mean, as I posited last year, or it is a continuous trend.
Digging deeper on how the two highest-ranked journals have gathered so many citations yields some surprising findings. A look at the author institutions of articles that cite papers in the Enterprise Information Systems reveals that 57% of them are from the Old Dominion University.
This is the workplace of the journal's Editor in Chief; there are many explanations on the relationship between the two facts.
A look at the journals that cite papers in the IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems reveals that 22% of the citations come from the journal Mathematical Problems in Engineering
This is an open access journal that has published 715 articles in the first half of 2013.
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