A journal impact factor list is a system for analyzing and ranking academic journals in terms of quality and prestige. Evaluation of the journals takes into account peer review originality, scientific quality, technical editing quality, editorial quality and regularity.
The impact factor of an academic journal reflects the number of times recently published articles have been cited by outside sources. The higher the number of outside citations, the higher the impact factor of that particular journal. A large number of citations means that the academic community finds value in the articles the journal publishes, meaning that journal has a greater impact on academia. Journals from different disciplines and areas of study receive citations at widely varying rates, so impact factors should only be used to compare journals in the same field of study. For example, comparing a mathematical journal with one covering biology would not yield an accurate comparison.
There are several organizations that produce impact factor rankings, including Global Impact Factor, General Impact Factor and CiteFactor. Journal publishers can submit their journals to be evaluated and indexed by each organization. Once indexed, the organization can determine a journal's impact factor and assign it a ranking.
Individual research papers cannot be indexed.