Journal Normalized Citation Impact

The Journal Normalized Citation Impact (JNCI) indicator is a similar indicator to the Normalized Citation Impact, but instead of normalizing per subject area or field, it normalizes the citation rate for the journal in which the document is publishing.

The Journal Normalized Citation Impact of a single publication is the ratio of the actual number of citing items to the average citation rate of publications in the same journal in the same year and with the same document type. The JNCI for a set of publications is the average of the JNCI for each publication.

The JNCI indicator can reveal information about the performance of a publication (or a set of publications) in relation to how other researchers perform when they publish their work in a given journal (or a set of journals). It can provide the answers to questions, such as “How do my papers perform in the journals I publish?” If the numerical value of the JNCI exceeds one, then the assessed research entity is performing above average. If it is less than one, then it is performing below the average.

The JNCI indicator is also useful for publishers as a measure of post–publication performance and it can reveal which research work exceeds average performance and therefore increases the citation rates of a journal.

Example of Normalized Citation Impact and Journal Normalized Citation Impact Indicators at the Author Level

Total Publications

Total Citations

Citation Impact


Normalized Citation Impact

Journal Normalized Citation Impact

Researcher D







Researcher E







This table shows an example of the application of the NCI and JNCI indicators at the author level. Researcher D and Researcher E both have very similar numbers of publications and citations. Their Citation Impact is almost the same, and their h-index is identical. Using only the first four indicators featured in table 4 (above), it is not possible to distinguish the performance of the two researchers. However, the two researchers may in fact be conducting research in very different fields and may have a different history of publication (older papers vs new papers). Using the NCI and JNCI indicators gives us a better understanding of their performance relative to their peers in terms of subject, document type and age of publication.

From the normalized indicators, one can quickly identify that Researcher D has both NCI (1.32) and JNCI (1.86) values that are above average (>1).

While Researcher E has a NCI (0.45) and JNCI (0.72) that are below average (<1). It should be noted that the JNCI is a relative research performance indicator. Even though in many cases NCI and JNCI might correlate positively, this might not always be the case. For example, if for a given researcher the NCI indicator is above average while at the same time the JNCI indicator is below average, this might mean that the researcher receives more citations than the average for his/her published research work in the scientific field that the researcher is active in overall, but he/she publishes in journals that have very high citation rates (e.g. Nature or Science) and has received less citations than the average published work does for the given journals.