What does the Impact Factor of a journal mean?
Impact Factor is basically a measure of the average number of citations of an article published in a journal. This mathematical formula is calculated over a three-year period and represents the average number of times papers get cited within two years of getting published. Authors mostly prefer publishing their manuscripts in high-impact-factor journals because they are considered more prestigious (e.g., Nature, Science, Cell, etc.). However, there are a number of flaws associated with impact factors and they can be found here. You can check out other frequently used metrics from this infographic.