The 2017 Journal Citation report was released last month, which includes the new journal impact factor calculations for 2016.

A journal impact factor is calculated by dividing the total number of citations received (for all articles) in a 2 year period by the total number of articles published in the previous two years. It is a poor metric for individual papers. To see the full range of citations garnered by the papers published in the previous two years, it is useful to see citation distributions (the number of papers with a given number of citations published in a single journal), a useful visulaization that I became aware of from a paper by Larivière et al. 2016.

Here is a link to my post last year with distributions re: the 2014 and 2015 Impact factor calculation. Below I recalculate the citation distributions for geomorphology journals with data for the 2016 impact factor calculation (downloaded from the Web of Science). I also report the median of these distributions.

Just to clarify further — this plot reports the number of papers with a given number of citations for each journal.

Similar to the last 2 years, the distributions are skewed and similar to each other. Also similar to the past 2 years, structure-from-motion papers are often in the long tail (far to the right; highlighting the broad interest of the technique).

- A recent blog post by AGU discussed the adoption of alternative journal metrics that the organization will soon report.
- A recent editorial in WRR also discusses citation metrics in regards to the hydrology community.