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DataBank: Article Level Metrics & Citation Analysis: Eigenfactor

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Recommended For

Sciences and some Social Sciences       

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See, also, the developer's article in C&RL News, May 2007.

Introduction

The approach of the EigenFactor "is to rank journals much as Google ranks Web pages. While Google uses the network of hyperlinks on the Web, we use citations in the academic literature as tallied by JCR."

Note that the data is the same universe of data used by the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) tool. EigenFactor metrics differ from impact factors, because the former both counts citations as well as takes into account the location from which the citations appear.  

EigenFactor analyzes five factors—citations, articles, sources, prices and usage. See the Basic, Advanced, and Cost Effectiveness searches:

  • Ranks journals by using the structure of the entire network, rather than local citation information, to evaluate the importance of each journal. Provides "a rough estimate of how often a journal will be used by scholars."
  • Article Influence measures the average influence of articles appearing in the same journal.
  • The Cost-Effectiveness Search combines journal price variables with citation influence to measure of the value of the dollar per journal. This is very interesting, but caution is necessary when interpreting it on a local level.
  • In addition to rankings of scholarly journals, measures the influence of other works on scholarly literature—e.g., which newspapers, theses, popular magazines, etc. are most often cited.
  • Calculations are based on the citations received over a five-year period as opposed to the two-year period in JCR.

Limitations

Some drawbacks of the EigenFactor include:

  • the same as listed in regard to the raw data content of ISI products such as JCR
  • some data may be outdated
  • the results can be complex to interpret