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Psychology & Behavioral Sciences

This subject research guide serves as a roadmap to the psychology resources available at the Rutgers University Libraries

Citation Indexes

Citation Indexes and Journal Impact Factor

Web of Science
Online version of Science Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index, and Arts and Humanities Citation Index combined. Retrospective online to 1980.
For source information for back years, you must use SCI at LSM Ref. Z7401.S365  and SMITH Storage (shelved by title) and SSCI at ALEX, DANA, and ANNEX Ref.Z161.S65.

For finding out which other researchers are citing your articles, start with the "cited reference search" tab in a search of Web of Science. You will find the "cited reference search" option by changing the drop down that now says "basic" on the main search screen of Web of Science. Type in some basic information, such as author last name, and first initial followed by an asterisk. You will then be asked to choose which article you would like to see citation data for. Remember that Web of Science has only a selection of top psychology journals in its coverage. It is not a comprehensive citation index for psychology.

Data Citation Index (back to 1900) is included in the Web of Science subscription but it is still developing in terms of amount of content available.

Scopus (Elsevier)

Scopus is a citation and abstract database of peer-reviewed literature that can be used by researchers to determine the impact of specific authors, articles/documents, and journals. It contains over 50 million records in the areas of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, arts, and humanities, with coverage strongest in the physical sciences (7,200+ titles) and health sciences (6,800+ titles), followed by the life sciences (4,300+ titles), and finally the social sciences & humanities (5,300+ titles). Titles included in Scopus are selected based on journal policies, content, journal standing, regularity of publication, and online availability. More than 25,000 titles (including open access journals) from around the world are covered in Scopus.  

In Scopus, it is possible to perform quick searches by document, author, or affiliation. The Advanced search option offers greater customization

There are several methods of analysis available in Scopus. The Journal Analyzer compares the citation metrics of different journals. Articles or other documents can be analyzed using the Citation Overview/Tracker. For authors, there is the Author Evaluator and h-index.

3. Also, for getting citation information on particular articles, or a personal citation profile, use Google Scholar and the limited results from PsycINFO. Recent studies show that Google Scholar and Google Scholar citations are really very comprehensive services, and use is increasing all the time, so even though Google Scholar covers everything it deems scholarly (and there are some messy data in there), it is useful to watch personal citation activity in GS services.

For information on journal ranking, core lists, or other issues of citation analysis or metrics in psychology (or other sciences), please send an email to

Journal Citation Reports (JCR)
The source to use to find Journal Impact Factor (JIF). Search JCR by subject category or journal title. For psychology, you may need to search both the social science and science files. Usually, the new impact factors come out in June of every year. You can also see Journal Citation Reports from the top bar while searching Web of Science.

Citation Analysis Information

In this guide, you will find pathways to information about citation analysis, including personal citation impact tools as well as information on journal ranking in fields of psychology.

For an excellent and comprehensive overview to citation analysis, please see this guide from librarians at the University of Michigan Library:

H-index: how to calculate


"The “h-index” was introduced in 2005 by the American physicist, Professor Jorge Hirsch in his article “An index to quantify an individual’s scientific research output

The h-index is used to measure the productivity of an individual, group or institution. It is calculated by taking into account the balance between the number of publications and the number of citations per publication. For example, a h-index of 26 tells us that an author or group of authors have 26 publications which received 26 citations or more."

For a good overview of the issue of different h-indexes found in the different indexes (Web of Science, Scopus, Harzing, Google Scholar and possibly others)-due to different coverages of the literature in those indexes-see the Wikipedia entry on H-index at:



Acceptance/Rejection Rates of Psych. Journals

To see what current acceptance or rejection rates are for various psychology journals, you may contact the publisher of the journal title. For Psychology, the index entitled "Cabell's Directory of Publishing Opportunities in Psychology." Rutgers owns this title in print in LSM RefBF30.C114. The latest edition owned at RUL is 2005/6 and RUL does not subscribe to the Cabell's database product.

APA does provide some information on its journals.

Journal Rankings in Psychology

The Association of College and Research Libraries' (ACRL) Education and Behavioral Sciences Section (EBSS) Psychology Committee has developed a database approach to ranking journals in psychology. The Psychology Committee continues to elicit feedback on this database, and information on methodology can be found within the database. The PsycINFO journal coverage list of approximately 2400 titles was used as a basis for the project. The database is intended for use in academic or special library collection development, and for general information on titles of interest in the various classifications of psychology. Comments on the database may be directed to the author of this guide, Laura Mullen at


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