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2017.06.16

Impact Factor of Computer Science Journals 2016

Clarivate Analytics (ex Thomson Reuters, ex ISI) has published the 2016 InCites Journal Citation Reports. Following similar studies I have performed in the past, here is my analysis of the current status and trends for the impact factor (IF) of computer science journals.

Let me start with an overview of the method I followed. I performed my analysis on the 496 journals appearing under InCites 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. You can learn more about the corresponding issues by reading the key points or the complete statement of the IEEE on the appropriate use of bibliometric indicators for the assessment of journals, research proposals, and individuals. 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.

Journals with the Highest IF

RankNameISSNIF
1IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials1553-877X17.188
2IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON EVOLUTIONARY COMPUTATION1089-778X10.629
3Journal of Statistical Software1548-76609.436
4IEEE WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS1536-12848.972
5IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON PATTERN ANALYSIS AND MACHINE INTELLIGENCE0162-88288.329
6INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COMPUTER VISION0920-56918.222
7IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON FUZZY SYSTEMS1063-67067.671
8IEEE Internet of Things Journal2327-46627.596
9IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics2168-22677.384
10MIS QUARTERLY0276-77837.268

As you can see, seven of the ten top-ranked journals are published by the IEEE. Also notable is the high ranking of the open access and free for both authors and readers Journal of Statistical Software. Content published in this journal is licensed under a Creative Commons license, and the software appearing on it is licensed under the GNU Public License. If I were to name one dominant topic in this list, it would be (big) data processing methods and applications.

Journals Added to the JCR in 2016

ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage
ACM Transactions on Asian and Low-Resource Language Information Processing
IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine
IEEE Internet of Things Journal
IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems
IEEE Transactions on Emerging Topics in Computing
IEEE Wireless Communications Letters
IET Image Processing
International Journal on Software Tools for Technology Transfer
Journal of Informetrics
METHODS OF INFORMATION IN MEDICINE

The list above shows the marks of a maturing outward-facing discipline, with many of the journals devoted to diverse applications of computing. By reading the title ACM Transactions on Asian and Low-Resource Language Information Processing you may be left wondering what a low-resource language is. These are languages for which it is difficult to find digital corpora.

Journals Dropped from the JCR in 2016

ASLIB PROCEEDINGS
JOURNAL OF LOGIC AND ALGEBRAIC PROGRAMMING
JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR INFORMATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
MATHEMATICAL AND COMPUTER MODELLING

The removal of the JOURNAL OF LOGIC AND ALGEBRAIC PROGRAMMING from the list may be a sign that scientists are loosing interest in logic and constraint programming. As someone who has written his share of Prolog programs, I find this a sad development.

Journals with the Highest Increase in IF

NameISSNΔ IF
IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials1553-877X7.968
Journal of Statistical Software1548-76607.057
IEEE WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS1536-12844.824
IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON EVOLUTIONARY COMPUTATION1089-778X4.721
IEEE NETWORK0890-80444.331
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COMPUTER VISION0920-56913.952
ACM TRANSACTIONS ON COMPUTER SYSTEMS0734-20713.445
Foundations and Trends in Information Retrieval1554-06692.9
BELL LABS TECHNICAL JOURNAL1089-70892.744
IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine1556-603X2.696

Notable in the above list is the re-emergence of the famous Bell Labs Technical Journal from its ashes, and the preponderance of journals associated with machine learning and data analytics.

Journals with the Highest Decrease in IF

NameISSNΔ IF
IEEE INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS1541-1672-1.158
Fuzzy Optimization and Decision Making1568-4539-0.888
MATCH-COMMUNICATIONS IN MATHEMATICAL AND IN COMPUTER CHEMISTRY0340-6253-0.719
ENGINEERING WITH COMPUTERS0177-0667-0.695
JOURNAL OF FUNCTIONAL PROGRAMMING0956-7968-0.68
JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS0742-1222-0.669
Mobile Information Systems1574-017X-0.613
Natural Computing1567-7818-0.532
JOURNAL OF COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY1066-5277-0.505
JOURNAL OF AUTOMATED REASONING0168-7433-0.477

The many journals associated with machine learning and data analytics in this list may be a sign of rapidly evolving scientific areas with wild swings in scientific interest, citations, and, therefore, impact factors.

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