Journal Immediacy Index


The Journal Immediacy Index is the average number of times an article in a given journal is cited in the year it is published.

When to Use It

  • Cutting-edge research: For comparing journals specializing in cutting-edge research, the immediacy index can provide a useful perspective.

Limitations and Precautions

Journal Size

Because it is a per-article average, the Immediacy Index tends to discount the advantage of large journals over small ones.

Publication Frequency

Frequently issued journals may have an advantage because an article published early in the year has a better chance of being cited than one published later in the year. Many journals that publish infrequently or late in the year have low Immediacy Indexes.


This calculation helps provides an immediate glimpse into the citation data. Because peak citation usually takes several years, the Immediacy Index may not predict ultimate citation performance. Please consider that, for items published very late in the year, it would be nearly impossible for them to earn any citations before the year is out.

How It’s Calculated

Number of citations to articles published in a given year ÷ number of articles published in that year = Immediacy Index

The Immediacy Index is similar to Journal Impact Factor, except the window for both the numerator and the denominator is restricted to the JCR year. This produces a same-year (one-year only) variation on the Journal Impact Factor.

Complementary Indicators

  • Journal Impact Factor