CiteScore: Advances, Evolution, Applications, and Limitations


Elsevier’s (Scopus) CiteScore, a journal-based metric (JBM), has been assigned to more journals than Clarivate Analytics’ Journal Impact Factor (JIF), including journals indexed by Scopus that do not carry a JIF. Unlike JIFs, CiteScore values are openly accessible. The advertisement of CiteScore, like other metrics, by journals or publishers may be in violation of DORA (Declaration on Research Assessment) principles. While use of the CiteScore can provide interesting information about how a journal is being cited, the use of this JBM as a “quality” metric is cautioned.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.; (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  2. 2.

    Select examples:; (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  3. 3.

    WoS also indexes conference proceedings, but it is unclear if a JIF has been assigned to any of them: (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  4. 4.; (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  5. 5. (SJR uses Scopus data but employs Google’s PageRank algorithm; [8]) (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  6. 6. (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  7. 7.

    It would be important to understand how applications for indexing are handled by WoS (including ESCI (Emerging Sources Citation Index)) and Scopus, as well as the transparency behind delisting.

  8. 8. (of these, 289 are in library and information sciences, with Scientometrics ranked 20th) (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  9. 9. (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  10. 10.

    Data drawn from SCIE + SSCI data in 2018 JIF dataset released by JCR in June of 2019.

  11. 11. (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  12. 12. (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  13. 13. (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  14. 14.

    Curiously, they only invoked the use of other Scopus-based metrics (Source-Normalised Impact per Paper (SNIP) and Scimago Journal Rank (SJR)) to support their argument, ignoring the JIF totally, supporting arguments that CiteScore is JIF’s arch-rival among JBMs [3]. The same group repositioned their comparison by including the JIF [16].

  15. 15.; (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  16. 16. (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  17. 17. (last accessed: May 15, 2020).

  18. 18.

    Clause 6, for publishers: “Greatly reduce emphasis on the journal impact factor as a promotional tool, ideally by ceasing to promote the impact factor or by presenting the metric in the context of a variety of journal-based metrics (e.g., 5-year impact factor, EigenFactor [8], SCImago [9], h-index, editorial and publication times, etc.) that provide a richer view of journal performance.” (last accessed: May 15, 2020).


  1. 1.

    Teixeira da Silva JA. The Journal Impact Factor (JIF): science publishing’s miscalculating metric. Acad Quest. 2017;30(4):433–41.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Roldan-Valadez E, Salazar-Ruiz SY, Ibarra-Contreras R, Rios C. Current concepts on bibliometrics: a brief review about impact factor, Eigenfactor score, CiteScore, SCImago Journal Rank, Source-Normalised Impact per Paper, H-index, and alternative metrics. Ir J Med Sci. 2019;188:939–51.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Teixeira da Silva JA, Memon AR. CiteScore: a cite for sore eyes, or a valuable, transparent metric? Scientometrics. 2017;111(1):553–6.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Fernandez-Llimos F. Differences and similarities between Journal Impact Factor and CiteScore. Pharm Pract. 2018;16(2):1282.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Moed HF. Measuring contextual citation impact of scientific journals. J Inform. 2010;4(3):265–77.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Waltman L, van Eck NJ, van Leeuwen TN, Visser MS. Some modifications to the SNIP journal impact indicator. J Inform. 2013;7(2):272–85.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Teixeira da Silva JA, Bernès S. Clarivate Analytics: continued omnia vanitas impact factor culture. Sci Eng Ethics. 2018;24(1):291–7.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    de Keyser P. Indexing the web. In: Indexing. From Thesauri to the Semantic Web. Chandos Publishing. 2012; p. 195–219.

  9. 9.

    Teixeira da Silva JA. Does China need to rethink its metrics- and citation-based research rewards policies? Scientometrics. 2017;112(3):1853–7.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Shu F, Quan W, Chen B-K, Qiu J-P, Sugimoto CR, Larivière V. The role of Web of Science publications in China’s tenure system. Scientometrics. 2020;122(3):1683–95.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Quan W, Chen B-K, Shu F. Publish or impoverish: an investigation of the monetary reward system of science in China (1999-2016). Aslib J Inf Manag. 2017;69(5):486–502.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Li J-T. On the advancement of highly cited research in China: an analysis of the Highly Cited database. PLoS ONE. 2018;13(4):e0196341.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Johnson R, Watkinson A, Mabe M. The STM Report: an overview of scientific and scholarly publishing, October, 5th edition, by the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers, The Hague, The Netherlands. 2018. p. 213. Accessed 15 May 2020.

  14. 14.

    Xie Q-N, Freeman RB. Bigger than you thought: China’s contribution to scientific publications and its impact on the global economy. China World Econ. 2019;27(1):1–27.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Chua SK, Qureshi AM, Krishnan V, Pai DR, Kamal LB, Gunasegaran S, Afzal MZ, Ambawatta L, Gan J-Y, Kew P-Y, Winn T, Sood S. The impact factor of an open access journal does not contribute to an article’s citations. F1000Research. 2017;6:208.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    James C, Colledge L, Meester W, Azoulay N, Plume A. CiteScore metrics: creating journal metrics from the Scopus citation index. Learned Publishing. 2019;32(4):367–74.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    van Noorden R. Controversial impact factor gets a heavyweight rival. Nature. 2016;540(7633):325–6.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Asadi H, Mostafavi E. The productivity and characteristics of Iranian Biomedical Journal (IBJ): a scientometric analysis. Iran Biomed J. 2018;22(6):362–6.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Atayero AA, Popoola SI, Egeonu J, Oludayo O. Citation analytics: data exploration and comparative analyses of CiteScores of open access and subscription-based publications indexed in Scopus (2014–2016). Data Brief. 2018;19:198–213.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Ivar do Sul JA, Tagg AS, Labrenz M. Exploring the common denominator between microplastics and microbiology: a scientometric approach. Scientometrics. 2018;117(3):2145–57.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Okagbue HI, Atayero AA, Adamu PI, Bishop SA, Oguntunde PE, Opanuga AA. Exploration of editorial board composition, Citescore and percentiles of Hindawi journals indexed in Scopus. Data Brief. 2018;19:743–52.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Brown T, Gutman SA. Impact factor, eigenfactor, article influence, scopus SNIP, and SCImage journal rank of occupational therapy journals. Scand J Occup Therapy. 2019;26(7):475–83.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Brown T, Gutman SA. A comparison of bibliometric indicators in occupational therapy journals published in English. Can J Occup Ther. 2019;86(2):125–35.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Krueger TM, Lelkes A-MT. Bibliometric measures and journal characteristics of leading accounting and finance journals. J Account Financ. 2019;19(7):87–101.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Okagbue HI, Adamu PI, Bishop SA, Obasi ECM, Akinola AO. Curve estimation models for estimation and prediction of impact factor and citescore using the journal percentiles: a case study of telecommunication journals. Int J Online Biomed Eng. 2019;15(14):31–40.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Okagbue HI, Bishop SA, Adamu PI, Opanuga AA, Obasi ECM. Analysis of percentiles of computer science, theory and methods journals: Citescore versus impact factor. DESIDOC J Library Inf Technol. 2020;40(1):359–65.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Zhang Y, Thenkabail PS, Wang P. A bibliometric profile of the Remote Sensing open access journal published by MDPI between 2009 and 2018. Remote Sens. 2019;11(1):91.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Villaseñor-Almaraz M, Islas-Serrano J, Murata C, Roldan-Valadez E. Impact factor correlations with Scimago Journal Rank, Source Normalized Impact per Paper, Eigenfactor Score, and the CiteScore in Radiology, Nuclear Medicine & Medical Imaging journals. Radiol Med. 2019;124:495–504.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Okagbue HI, Bishop SA, Oguntunde PE, Adamu PI, Opanuga AA, Akhmetshin EM. Modified CiteScore metric for reducing the effect of self-citations. Telkomnika. 2019;17(6):3044–9.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Wei M-K. Research on impact evaluation of open access journals. Scientometrics. 2020;122(2):1027–49.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    Dehghanbanadaki H, Khademsharif M, Aazami H, Azimi A. 32-year scientometric analysis of the Medical Journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Med J Islam Repub Iran. 2020;34:1.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    Okagbue HI, Teixeira da Silva JA. Correlation between the CiteScore and Journal Impact Factor of top-ranked library and information science journals. Scientometrics. 2020. press).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    Neff MW. How academic science gave its soul to the publishing industry. Issues Sci Technol. 2020;36(2):35–43.

    Google Scholar 

  34. 34.

    Teixeira da Silva JA, Dobránszki J, Tsigaris P, Al-Khatib A. Predatory and exploitative behaviour in academic publishing: an assessment. J Acad Librarianship. 2019;45(6):102071.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. 35.

    Meho LI. Using Scopus’s [sic] CiteScore for assessing the quality of computer science conferences. J Inform. 2019;13(1):419–33.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. 36.

    Teixeira da Silva JA, Sorooshian S, Al-Khatib A. Cost-benefit assessment of congresses, meetings or symposia, and selection criteria to determine if they are predatory. Walailak J Sci Technol. 2017;14(4):259–65.

    Google Scholar 

  37. 37.

    Al-Hoorie AH, Vitta JP. The seven sins of L2 research: a review of 30 journals’ statistical quality and their CiteScore, SJR, SNIP, JCR Impact Factors. Lang Teach Res. 2019;23(6):727–44.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. 38.

    Krauskopf E. Sources without a CiteScore value: more clarity is required. Scientometrics. 2020;122(3):1801–12.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. 39.

    Teixeira da Silva JA, Dobránszki J. Editors moving forward: stick to academic basics, maximize transparency and respect, and enforce the rules. Recenti Prog Med. 2018;109(5):263–6.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. 40.

    Ferrand É, Larivière V, Lebel D, Bussières J-F. Indicateurs de notoriété des revues scientifiques, des chercheurs et des articles publiés en santé: perspective pharmaceutique. Ann Pharm Françaises. 2019;77(1):1–14. French with English abstract).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. 41.

    Colledge L, James C, Azoulay N, Meester W, Plume A. CiteScore metrics are suitable to address different situations—a case study. Eur Sci Edit. 2017;43(2):27–31.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. 42.

    Cerpa N, Pejić-Bach M. Editorial: Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research—CiteScore metric from Scopus. J Theor Appl Electron Commerce Res. 2018;13(3):1–2.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. 43.

    Gedda M. Bibliometric indices and French-language physiotherapy journals. Kinesitherapie la Revue. 2018;18(198):9–28.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. 44.

    Vrabel M. Beyond the impact factor. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2019;46(2):143–5.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


The author thanks Dr. Joseph P. Vitta (Rikkyo University, Japan) for kind input, comments and suggestions on an earlier version of the paper.

Author information




The author contributed entirely to the intellectual discussion underlying this paper, literature exploration, writing, reviews and editing, and accepts responsibility for the content of this paper.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva.

Ethics declarations

Conflicts of interest

The author declares no conflicts of interest of relevance to this topic.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Teixeira da Silva, J.A. CiteScore: Advances, Evolution, Applications, and Limitations. Pub Res Q (2020).

Download citation


  • Biomedical science
  • Citations
  • DORA (Declaration on Research Assessment)
  • Journal-based metric
  • Journal Impact Factor (JIF)
  • r (Pearson’s correlation coefficient)
  • ρ (rs)
  • Spearman’s correlation coefficient)
  • Transparency