Frequently Asked Questions


The Area Score represents the influence of an average article published in a journal. This measure does not depend on the number of articles published by this journal. The diamScore is also normalized so that the average Area Score among all selected journals is equal to 1.00. For example, if journal A has an Area Score of 1.60 and journal B has an Area Score of 0.40, the average article in journal A is four times as influential as the average article in journal B in this particular area.
The comparison of two journals of different research disciplines, say "Surgery" and "Seismology", doesn't really make sense, and a score of 3.2 in surgery could not reasonably be compared to a score of 1.2 in seismology. For this reason we propose to use Area Scores that are based on mutual influences among a subset of journals in a same area. To help you to set up your own list of journals we propose a list of predefined areas. Theses ready-made areas are necesarily arbitrary but offer a good starting point to select the journals of you interest and define your specific area.
We propose the same areas as in the Thomson's Journal Citation Reports® (JCR). These 226 predefined areas can be used as a starting point to set up your own list of journals. For example, the category "Operations research & management science" includes different sub-areas such as "Operations Research" and "Operations Management", and you could be more interested to compare journals focused on Operations Research than Operations Management. Starting from the ready-made area "Operations research & management science (JCR2013)", it is possible to refine your selection and only select the journals of your interest.
We propose different ways to set up a specific area:
  • The best way is to display a ready-made area as a starting point and select the journals of you interest by clicking on their corresponding checkboxes.
  • By clicking the name of a journal, you get access to its basic description (title, abbreviated name, language, ISSN, number of issues per year). Below this description, a list of similar journals is displayed. You can click on the checkbox of any journal to insert it in your area.
  • You can also search journals by name or by ISSN.
Once you area is ready, it can be diplayed and ranked by selecting the "My area" menu.
The citation data used to compute the Area Scores come from the Thomson's Journal Citation Reports® 2013. These data include about 11,000 journals in science and social science.
The Area Score is calculated from all the citations in articles published in 2013 to articles published between 2004 and 2013. We use the Direct Influence Aggregation Model (DIAM) published by Cornillier and Charles (Measuring the attractiveness of academic journals: A direct influence aggregation model, Operations Research Letters, 43(2), 172–176, 2015, DOI:10.1016/j.orl.2015.01.007). In this model, the attractiveness (i.e. the average article's influence) of a journal is defined as the weighted average of its direct influence on all other journals under consideration, to each of which is accorded a weight proportional to its own attractiveness.
The direct influence aggregation model used to compute the Area Scores has interesting properties:
  • Invariant to publication intensity: The direct influence between two journals does not depend on their respective number of published articles, it only depends on their mutual citations and their reference intensities (i.e. their average number of reference per article).
  • Weighted citations: Each direct influence is weighted by the attractiveness of journal on which it is exerted: the direct influence exerted on a prestigious journal is recognized as more valuable than the same direct influence on a less prestigious journal.
  • Invariance to reference intensity: A journal with few references per article in average has no advantage over a journal with more references per article.
  • Invariance to self-citations: The are score of a journal is a weighted average of its direct influence on all other journals. As such, self-citations are ignored and do not have any influence on the scores.
  • Immunity from additional strategic citations: In Kóczy and Strobel (2010) it has been shown that the LP-method (Liebowitz and Palmer (1984)) and the invariant method (Pinsky and Narin (1976), and Palacios-Huerta and Volij (1994)) are subject to a manipulation by which citations to other journals could be strategically added to improve its own ranking. In the direct influence aggregation model, any additional citation could only downgrade the ranking of the citing journal.
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