It is the time of the year when some of the journal impact factor (IF) rankings are released.
The Web of Science has released its impact factors for 2020 and the Journal of Contemporary Asia has an IF of 3.261, up substantially on 2019 when it was 1.957. In 2018 the IF was 2.030. This latest IF is the highest the journal has ever reached.
For 2019, the report ranks JCA 3rd in the Area Studies category among 77 ranked journals.
At about the same time, Google Scholar released its rankings. In its list of the top 20 Asian Studies and History journals, JCA ranks 3rd among 80 listed journals.
In the 2020 Scimago Journal Rankings, using Scopus, JCA is listed in Cultural Studies and Social Sciences (miscellaneous) and is ranked in Q1 for both. In Cultural Studies JCA is ranked 17th among 1103 journals and in Social Sciences (Misc.) it is ranked 66th among 594 journals.
Clarivate has also introduced a new metric, the Journal Citation Indicator (JCI). All journals indexed in the different Clarivate indexes are receiving a JCI. This metric also looks at citations, but over a wider period than the IF, and normalising for the characteristics of the journal’s subject field(s). The 2020 JCI for Journal of Contemporary Asia is 4.06, ranking 2/160 in the Area Studies category.
There are divergent views on rankings. Whatever one’s views, there is little doubt that IFs and the rankings do have consequences for journals, including in matters like submissions. Several jurisdictions also direct scholars to consider IFs when they publish and some reward them for publishing in high-ranked journals.