The impact factor of the Journal of the American Ceramic Society increases for the third straight year. Credit: ACerS; Wiley.

Thomson Reuters has released its annual report on journal impact factors, and the news for The American Ceramic Society continues to be very good with two Society journals listed in the top six of the Materials Science—Ceramics impact factor list.

The Journal of the American Ceramic Society, the Society’s flagship publication, earned an impact factor of 2.272, an increase over last year’s 2.167. This is the third straight year that the Journal has increased its impact factor.

The IF is an indicator of the influence and relevance of the articles published in the two years prior. According to Thompson Reuters, the IF “is a ratio between citations and recent citable items published. Thus, the impact factor of a journal is calculated by dividing the number of current year citations [i.e., 2011] to the source items published in that journal during the previous two years [i.e., 2009 and 2010].”

Like all statistics, IFs need to be considered in context. For example, for journals in the Materials Science—Ceramics category, JACerS ranks second behind the Journal of the European Ceramic Society’s impact factor of 2.353. However, JACerS was actually cited more than twice as much: 28,517 citations to JECS’s 12,858.

A better measure of a journal’s long-term relevance is the five-year IF. JACerS leads in the Materials Science—Ceramics category with a 5-IF of 2.383, compared to JECS at 2.295. The strong 5-IF shows that JACerS articles maintain their scientific merit and relevance for many years after publication and it is a better measure of the long-term value of its articles.

The Society’s International Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology also performed well, earning an IF of 1.384 compared to last year’s 1.28. The International Journal of Applied Glass Science is still too young for reportable metrics.