I recently came across the term "Cumulative Impact Index". I came to know about it here, which includes the statement, "publication of 5 International Journal papers, each Journal having a cumulative impact index of not less than 2.0".

I knew of peer-reviewed, but as this term was bit new I surfed the web and visited Impact Factor on Wikipedia, but it is still not clear. Can any one of the learned members may kindly explain to me, preferably with an example?


1 Answer 1


The term "Cumulative Impact Factor" (or cumulative impact index) has been used with different meanings by different authors.

One definition is that the cumulative impact factor for an individual author is simply the sum over all papers that the author has published of the impact factors of the journals that the papers were published in. e.g.

You've published 3 papers in Journal A that has impact factor 1.2. You've published 1 paper in journal B that has impact factor 1.9. You've published 2 papers in journal C that has impact factor 1.7.

Your CIF would then be


Like all bibliometrics, it's a very crude measure. You can get a high score on this measure by publishing a lot of research in journals that aren't very prestigious, or by publishing a very small amount in highly prestigious journals.

Furthermore, the metric says nothing about the impact of your research compared with other papers in the journals in which you've published (e.g. you might have published a very widely cited paper in a journal with a low impact factor but you won't get any extra credit for that.)

The term "cumulative impact factor" has also been used for measures of the impact factor of a journal over extended periods beyond the usual definition of impact factor. See for example:


I don't believe that ISI has ever defined this term in their formal reports on the impact factors of journals, so I'm afraid that any use of the term will depend on the particular group or person that is computing the cumulative impact factor.

  • 1
    From the quoted statement, the OP is clearly asking about the latter, so maybe you can elaborate on that.
    – ff524
    Dec 4, 2014 at 17:14
  • I don't think that there is any one standard definition of the cumulative index factor/index for a journal. You could extend the usual two year period to five years, or ten years, or to the life of the journal, or ... Dec 4, 2014 at 17:39
  • There are apparently a bunch of universities in India that want faculty to have published at least "five papers in journals with a cumulative impact index of 2.0." Presumably these universities are using a report that someone used the raw ISI data to get these cumulative impact indices. Dec 4, 2014 at 17:47
  • Thanks for the answer and discussion. But one or two things are slightly confusing till. I am getting back to you soon. Regards, Subhabrata.
    Dec 15, 2014 at 19:00
  • So, here["en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… does Impact Factor come for 2009? Regards, Subhabrata.
    Dec 26, 2014 at 17:14

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