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The impact of academic research cannot be defined by any single metric. As a DORA signatory, BMJ believes that the journal impact factor (JIF) is best shared alongside other metrics that can help an author decide where to publish. 

These include Citescore, Total Altmetric mentions, and time to first decision and are made available on our journal sites and demonstrate how BMJ is meeting research authors’ needs for timely publication, reach and influence.

Creating academic impact

In the 2021 Journal Citation Report, the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery took first place in the Neuroimaging category, and three BMJ journals received their first impact factor, taking BMJ’s Journal Impact Factors (JIF) indexed total to 41 journals:

Four of our titles received their first Citescore, taking our total to 63:

And, 32 of our indexed journals (84%) observed an increase in JIF, with Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases (27.973) and Gut (31.793) seeing increases above 8 points.

Finally, our flagship journal The BMJ’s JIF increased from 39.890 in 2020 to 93.333, moving it into fourth place in the Medicine, General and Internal ranks.

Sudden surge in journal impact factors: an explanation

The combined effects of the covid pandemic with a small change in the calculation method have led to the soaring impact factors announced for many journals in June 2022. The BMJ, for instance, surged from 39.890 in 2020 to 93.333 in 2021. Here’s why:

1) The JIF calculation now includes all the citations from so-called early-access content, (increasing the numerator without adding to the denominator of the IF calculation) and

2) The sudden appearance of covid-19 created an entirely new, extremely urgent field of study which led to more articles being published overall, and more of those articles being highly cited. Journals in relevant fields like general medicine, public health, and infectious diseases, therefore, saw significant growth in their denominator, but an even greater growth in their numerator  (Overall, this year’s JIF calculations contained over 25% more articles and citations than the prior year). Clarivate explains the effect that Impact Factors have seen this year in more detail here.

In 2013, BMJ signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). We did this to show our support for using various measures and metrics to portray journals’ impact; moving away from the Impact Factor as a single measure.  

Monitoring the metrics: speed, impact and reach of the research we publish.

Our metrics are displayed (where available) on all our journals’ platforms. 


  • Time to first decision without review: Median number of days from first submission to first decision for manuscripts that are not peer-reviewed 
  • Time to first decision with review: Median number of days from first submission to first decision for peer-reviewed manuscripts
  • Time from acceptance to publication: Median number of days from acceptance to online publication


  • Impact Factor (JCR): Calculated by Clarivate Analytics, the average number of citations in a single year of all articles published over the last two years.
    IF = number of citations in the given year/citable articles published in the previous two years
  • SciMago Journal Rank (SJR): Calculated from the Scopus database, the average number of weighted citations (dependent on the number of citations and the prestige of the journals where they came from) in a single year of all articles published in the previous three years 
  • Eigenfactor: Calculated from the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) database from Web of Science, the number of weighted citations (dependent on usage of the journal that they came from) in a single year of all articles published in the previous five years, discounting self-citations
  • CiteScore: Calculated from the Scopus database, the average number of citations in a single year and last three years of all items published during that same four-year period


  • Content Accesses: The total number of times that all articles have been accessed in a full year, including downloads, as recorded by Google Analytics.
  • Total Altmetric mentions: The total number of mentions from online media outlets that our journal’s content (published in a single year) receives within that year, as recorded by Altmetric. Media outlets include: patents, policy documents, social media mentions, blogs, news, and peer review.

Author Hub 

For some useful information and resources, please see the BMJ Author Hub


Some other useful resources

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