Immediacy Index

You are a researcher or a student, and you have to find credible sources for your research paper or dissertation. How will you determine the credibility or trustworthiness of a research article? How will you keep up with innovative research when there are so many journals? One metric can help you find answers to all your queries, and that metric is the Immediacy index. Let us first define what an immediacy index is.

Immediacy Index

Immediacy index is the ratio of the total number of citations obtained in the current year to the number of citable articles published in the current year. It measures how quickly citations to a journal occur. Citations within a year show that the study is being expanded quickly. It is the desired conclusion for any publication.

How To Calculate Immediacy Index?

You can calculate the immediacy index by doing the following:

Divide the number of citations to publications published in a particular year by the number of articles published in the same year.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of The Immediacy Index?


  • It is a valuable statistic for locating publications in disciplines where research moves quickly.
  • It reveals how many times people download and cite a journal article
  • It reveals the desirability of a journal’s new articles based on its reputation.
  • Because it is a per article average, it accounts for journal size.


  • Papers published at the beginning of the year has a greater probability of getting more citations
  • It undermines those journals that publish later in the year
  • Frequently produced journals have more advantages which means quantity triumphs over quality
  • The immediacy index’s use varies by field. For example, it could be more valuable in medical sciences than mathematics.
  • Similarly, an article may be widely read by people in a discipline like biology. But it may take some time for that article to integrate into a published work

Criticism of Scholars

According to experts of a PhD dissertation help service, the immediacy index shows how soon an article published in a certain journal gets referenced compared to others in its topic area. It allows researchers to determine which journals produce the “top trending” articles in a subject. It is easy to understand how such a claim would be problematic. Journals that start publishing volumes at the start of the year will be at an advantage. They will have a greater immediacy index. It is because their published articles will have more time to garner citations.

Moreover, because the immediacy index is based on a per article average, it tends to undervalue the advantages of large journals over small journals. When comparing publications specialising in cutting-edge research, the immediacy index might be helpful. The immediacy index tends to undervalue the benefit of large journals over small journals. It is because it evaluates journals based on a per article estimate. On the other hand, regularly published journals may have an edge since a paper published at the start of the year is more likely to be referenced than one published at the end of the year. Immediacy indexes are low in many periodicals that issue seldom or in the last months of the year.

After measuring and analysing the pros and cons of the immediacy index, it is fair to say that it is not a good indicator to determine the trustworthiness of an article. It only determines the immediacy of an article. The other reason is that frequently published articles have a competitive advantage compared to those journals that rarely publish. Other factors can help determine the trustworthiness of an article. The following metrics are useful:


H-index has the following features:

  • An H-index is a tool for assessing the aggregate influence of an author’s research output and achievement
  • The H-index is a quantitative indicator that estimates the relevance, significance and wide effect of a scientist’s collective research contributions
  • It compares published papers to a number of citations to determine quantity and quality
  • The H-index accounts for the asymmetrical value of widely cited or yet-to-be-cited articles.
  • Several databases compute the H-index for writers as a part of citation reporting.

Journal Impact Factor

JIFs (journal impact factors) have become a popular method for evaluating the performance of academic journals and individual articles. Thomson Reuters’ scientific division calculates JIFs reported yearly in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR). Journal Impact Factor is the number of times publications from the previous two years’ issues get mentioned in the current year. The impact factor measures the frequency of the number of citations of a published article in its field.

It is a much better citation metric than the immediacy index. It is because it calculates the citation metrics in two years. It analyses the articles based on their quantity as well as quality. A high journal impact factor indicates that the article is trustworthy and credible. Journal impact factor is also a better evaluation metric for individual articles. It determines how many citations an individual article receives.

Eigenfactor Score

Eigenfactor score is an evaluation metric that judges a journal based on its readability. It analyses a journal based on the number of people who read it. It indicates the attractiveness and the importance of journal contents. Eigenfactor score is estimated by tallying the total number of citations received by a journal during five years.


The immediacy index rewards those journals that publish early in the year, and hence their immediacy score increases. It is a quantitative measure that compromises quality over quantity. Journals that publish frequently have a competitive advantage over those that do not. There are many reputable journals in the scientific and academic community that publish rarely. The reason behind that is there are a few instances when a researcher produces original ideas. Publishing frequently leads to a problem of over publication. Over publication of research articles in academia is equivalent to overproduction, which compromises quality. There are other metrics to judge and evaluate the credibility of a research article. Journal impact factor and H-index are better tools to determine the credibility of individual articles.

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