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SAGE Publishing announces five-year Impact Factors for social science journals (Source: Web of Science Group, 2019)

June 20, 2019

SAGE Publishing, one of the world’s leading independent academic and professional publishers, has today released the five-year 2018 Journal Impact Factor (JIF) for its social science journals. Download the data here. (Source: 2018 Journal Impact Factor, Journal Citation Reports (Web of Science Group, 2019.))

SAGE has long recognized the need to consider multiple measures of journal quality to ensure the creation of a balanced picture regarding impact. In the social sciences, where citation counts rarely accrue as quickly as in other disciplines, the annual Journal Citation Reports (JCR) do not provide an apt indication of research impact. In an effort to reflect this, SAGE is today focused on the five-year Impact Factors of its social science journals, instead of the more typical two-year measure, to encourage a longer-term view. While these measures are only one indication of journal quality - and still fail to capture the influence that research can have on policy, practice, and the public - SAGE’s goal with this announcement is to progress the conversation around improving impact metrics for the social sciences.

Ziyad Marar, President of Global Publishing at SAGE, commented:

‘We’ve been aware for a long time that social science is ill-served by the dominant metrics of measuring journal and article quality; and of the tendency to fetishize the JIF in particular, hence our decision to announce the five-year Impact Factor instead. It’s a small gesture, but the increased focus on impact in recent years has exacerbated this problem. As detailed in my recent post for the LSE Impact Blog, we are keen to help move this conversation along by convening expert voices to reflect on what is a difficult, but important issue in today’s higher education environment.”

This announcement follows the release of SAGE’s recent report, ‘The Latest Thinking About Metrics for Research Impact in the Social Sciences,’ which summarizes the key points from a workshop SAGE convened at Google’s main campus earlier this year and lays the groundwork for improving social and behavioral science impact metrics.

SAGE is also engaging with qualitative measures of social science impact. This includes a new book series, 'what do we know and what should we do about...?,' which launched earlier this week. The series offers readers of all levels short, up-to-date overviews of key issues that are often misrepresented or simplified in the mainstream media. Written by leading social scientists, the books provide a vehicle for social science to have wide-reaching impact outside of academia, and present analysis and suggestions on how to tackle some of the most important issues facing society today.

Together, these activities form part of a wider effort from SAGE to enable and recognize impact in the social sciences. The initiative addresses how social research is assessed, how existing measures can be improved, and if new solutions can be developed. Regular updates can be found on the Impact section of the community site Social Science Space, which is being used to gather ideas and host debate around the topic.

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Those interested in engaging in the social science impact debate can do so at or on Twitter using #socialscienceimpact.

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Sara Miller McCune founded SAGE Publishing in 1965 to support the dissemination of usable knowledge and educate a global community. SAGE is a leading international provider of innovative, high-quality content publishing more than 1000 journals and over 800 new books each year, spanning a wide range of subject areas. Our growing selection of library products includes archives, data, case studies and video. SAGE remains majority owned by our founder and after her lifetime will become owned by a charitable trust that secures the company’s continued independence. Principal offices are located in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC and Melbourne.

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