Analysis of a Success Story (2008-2024)

How to read JCR today's results of The Journal of Headache and Pain
Published in Neuroscience and Public Health
Analysis of a Success Story (2008-2024)

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2011-2023 IF journey

As every year, the June date for Clarivate's release of the Journal of Citation Reports (JCR) is experienced with much trepidation, a little curiosity and many predictions (1).

The new 2-year Impact Factor (IF) is 7.3 for 2023, a minimal decrease from 2022 (7.4). The new Impact Factor is based on 8,166 citations in 2023 out of a total of 292 sources in 2021 and 2022. The numbers compare favourably with the 2022 IF, which was based on 6,926 citations made in 2022 out of 269 sources from 2020 and 2021. The new 5-year impact factor is 7.7 (from 7.1) and shows the positive long-term trend of the journal's impact (2).

 Interestingly, the Journal IF (JIF) ranking has increased or maintained its position in both categories: it now stands at 19/277 in Clinical Neurology (up from 19/212 in the previous year) and stands at 26/310 in Neuroscience (previously 30/272).

Furthermore, the Journal Citation Indicator (JCI), which is an alternative measure to the IF, also provided by Clarivate, increased to 1.92 for 2023 by TJHP (from 1.63 in 2022). The JCI calculates the average Category Normalized Citation Impact of papers published by the journal in a recent three-year period.

In both cases (JIF and JCI) the percentile ranking in the top 10% area was largely achieved, in fact it rose from 91.3 to 93.3 (JIF) and from 89.2 to 91.8 (JCI) for the Clinical Neurology area and from 92.75 to 94.78 (JIF) and from 91.01 to 93.06 (JCI) for the Neurosciences area.

To put these numbers in context, we have seen a reduction in the impact factor of many journals this year. This seems to be especially the case for journals that had a large increase in 2021 (when we saw rapid growth in research output/published articles and highly citable content related to COVID-19 that increased journal usage and citations). We are beginning to see many journals stabilise closer to pre-COVID-19 levels.

Our extreme caution in favouring publication during the pandemic of a relatively unimportant symptom in the evolution of COVID-19 has been rewarded (3,4).

In line with our commitment to DORA, we also like to contextualise the impact factor with other metrics. These include other citation measures such as the Scopus CiteScore, which has increased to 11.8 for 2023 (from 11.6 in 2022). We also consider factors such as utilisation (article downloads), which for TJHP has decreased from 4.37 million in 2022 to over 3 million in 2023.

Finally, a consideration is in order: the Journal of Headache and Pain has been consolidated for the last three years at the top of the area journals dedicated to headache disorders, thus expressing the approval of its contents by the headache community, as well as now representing the hare figure for the growth of the entire community.

I am confident that this harvest of data will continue to consolidate in the years to come, so that we can offer researchers and readers an increasingly credible and strengthened platform for basic and clinical research in headache disorders.

But it is also fair to say that none of this would have happened without the trust placed in the journal by the passengers of this new Orient Express, who occupy the wagons reserved for readers, authors, reviewers, European Headache Federation, Lifting The Burden and Asian Regional Consortium for Headache, who have chosen it as their reference journal. 

The conductor is whistling the signal for departure. 
The train journey continues!

The driver of your Orient Express.

Paolo Martelletti

Unitelma Sapienza University of Rome

Editor-in-Chief (Founding), The Journal of Headache and Pain


Rome, 20 June 2024


  1. Martelletti P. The baton changed hands. J Headache Pain. 2021 Aug 3;22(1):88. doi: 10.1186/s10194-021-01288-6. PMID: 34344320; PMCID: PMC8330098.
  2. Last viewed 20 June 2024
  3. Martelletti, P., Bentivegna, E., Luciani, M. et al. Headache as a Prognostic Factor for COVID-19. Time to Re-evaluate. SN Compr Clin Med. 2, 2509-2510 (2020).
  4. Martelletti P. COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines: A Cameo Role for Headache. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023 Feb 22;20(5):3914. doi: 10.3390/ijerph20053914 PMID: 36900925; PMCID: PMC10002133.

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