Calculating the influence and prestige of a given journal in chemistry (or any other field) isn't easy. Different chemists will give different opinions, depending upon their personal perspective and experience. But analyzing the collective judgment of the chemistry community, as reflected in the journals its members most frequently cite, allows for approximations of influence. Merely tabulating total citations, however, won't do. That would give undue advantage to fat journals, which have greater opportunity to be cited than their slimmer counterparts. Clearly, a weighting technique is needed to gain any meaningful comparisons. One such method is measuring a journal's "impact."

Each year, the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) calculates the impact of more than 3,000 scientific journals. Impact is a measure of the frequency with which an article has been cited, on average, in a particular year. It is derived by dividing the total citations a journal receives in one year...

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