News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Belfer Center’s International Security Journal Honored for Impact

| July 15, 2020

International Security, the quarterly journal edited at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and published by The MIT Press, received top rankings for impact in 2019 based on the high number of times the journal's articles were referenced in other publications 

Ash Carter, Director of the Belfer Center, said, “International Security has a long history of being a leader in its field. The journal’s mission - to publish and promote insightful analyses of global security issues - is vital to strengthening our understanding of a range of policy challenges.”

“This is exciting and rewarding news for the IS editorial team,” said Morgan Kaplan, Executive Editor of International Security. “Academic and policy impact are central to the journal’s core mission, and rigorous research on international security has never been more important. We extend a hearty congratulations and thanks to our many authors, reviewers, and readers who continue to produce, improve, and promote impactful work.”

The impact rankings are based on two prominent metrics – Clarivate’s Journal Citation Reports and Elsevier’s Scopus CiteScore. Each of these measures average citations per article, demonstrating the journal’s relevance in its field. 95 journals were considered in the JCR rankings and 529 in Scopus scoring.

“It is extremely gratifying that the journal gains such recognition in the field," said Steven  E. Miller, Director of the Belfer Center’s International Security Program and Editor-in-Chief of the journal. "This is a testament to the enormous amount of hard work done by contributors, reviewers, and the editorial team, whose combined exertions are necessary to make International Security what it is. It demonstrates that there is a substantial audience for the careful, detailed, policy-relevant scholarship for which the journal is known. And kudos to Executive Editor Morgan Kaplan, who has stepped into Sean Lynn-Jones’s role and continued our long tradition of excellence."

According to Clarivate’s Journal Citation Reports, International Security’s Impact Factor increased from 4.500 in 2018 to 5.432 in 2019. This is the journal’s highest Impact Factor in more than two decades, and the journal moved up in the rankings from #2 to #1 in the International Relations category. Launched by the Belfer Center in 1976, the journal has ranked first or second in Impact Factor for 18 out of the past 23 years. In addition, the journal received a Scopus CiteScore of 9.6, which secures the journal’s ranking as #1 in the category of Political Science and International Relations. The journal has also been ranked #1 in Military Studies by the recently released 2020 Google Scholar Metrics.

Examples of recent articles in the journal: “Paradoxes of Professionalism,” “Weaponized Interdependence,” and  “Home, Again: Refugee Return and Post-Conflict Violence in Burundi.”

More information about International Security is available at:

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:Belfer Center’s International Security Journal Honored for Impact.” News, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, July 15, 2020.


Steven E. Miller