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Immediacy Index Information

Category: Journal Level

Definition: A metric that indicates the average number of times an article is cited in the year it is published. It is calculated by dividing the number of citations to articles published in a given year by the number of articles published in that year.

Use Case: The Immediacy Index can provide a useful perspective when comparing journals specializing in cutting-edge research.

Location: Journal Citation Reports (Web of Science)

Field Normalized?  No


  • May not predict ultimate citation performance.
  • Not reliable for items published very late in the year.

Sample Statement: The 2020 editorial co-authored by Dr. Fauci entitled “The complex challenges of HIV vaccine development require renewed and expanded global commitment” and published in Lancet was cited 9 times (Web of Science) that same year; Lancet has an Immediacy Index of 15 (JCR).

What that means: On average documents published in this journal will receive 15 citations in their first year of publication.

Additional Information and Resources Regarding Immediacy Index