Analysis of the Impact Factor and JCR Rankings in Conservation Science Journals: Why JCR Should Have a Heritage Category

Teresa Palomar, Alberto Moure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The scientific research output of individuals and institutions is commonly evaluated by the number of publications in journals with high impact factor and their corresponding citations. However, the interdisciplinary character of journals reporting advances in conservation science favors their spread over different categories of the Journal Citation Report (JCR). Here we report an analysis of the evolution of the impact factor, the percentile, and the citations on the JCR indexed conservation journals over the last ten years. Our analysis shows that of the 57 conservation journals indexed in the JCR, only eight of them have an impact factor. These journals are distributed across different categories in the Science Citation Index (SCI) and Social Science Citation Index (SSCI), and these categories are sometimes not suitable and decrease their metric impact. This analysis was complemented by a worldwide survey of conservation professionals on their opinions about publishing in these journals. The survey showed two different perspectives about conservation science journals in relation to the background and work of the responders. Conservators and restorers prefer conservation journals with case studies; while researchers prefer high-impact journals, even if they lie outside of the conservation area, so the overall impact factor of conservation journals remains low (low JIF, low Q values). This dichotomy could be fixed with the creation of a new category for heritage science journals in JCR.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalStudies in Conservation
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2022


  • conservation science
  • heritage science
  • Indexed journals
  • journal citation report
  • journal impact factor
  • professional opinion
  • Scimago Journal Rank


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