What's an impact factor?
A journal's impact factor is a number that speaks to the importance of that publication within the education field. Impact factors were originally created by ISI, now Thompson-Reuters, but other organizations that measure this type information are listed below. Journals with high impact factors are considered to be more "valuable" and "noteworthy" than those with low impact factors. The number itself is a measure of the average number of citations to recent articles published in that journal. The Journal of Educational Psychology currently has an impact factor of 3.158, so each recent article in that journal has been cited at least three times (on average) in other scholarly studies. Research in Science Education has an impact factor of 1.104, so each of those articles has been cited at least once (on average) by other authors.
How do I find a journal's impact factor?
Google the name of the journal and the words "impact factor". In most cases, the number will appear on the journal's home page.
Sample Search: journal of educational psychology impact factor
Is there a list of "great" education journals?
Try Google Scholar Metrics, which uses similar citation counts to rank the top twenty journals in each field. Take a look at the "best" education publications from the following categories, and click on the h5-index number to view a list of each journal's top-cited articles.
Another open access impact factor tool is Eigenfactor from scientists at the University of Washington. Go to the Advanced Search screen to create a list of the highest ranking Education journals. There is some overlap with Google Metrics, but the lists are not the same.
Want to know if an article is peer-reviewed? Follow these steps: