Who’s Who at BC Libraries: Weitao Liu

Introducing Weitao Liu, Philosophy & English ‘20, and O’Neill Library Digital Studio student assistant.

Class year

Undergraduate, Class of 2020.


I am double-majoring Philosophy and English and double-minoring Music and Economics. Since I am a senior in the honors program housed in the Philosophy department, I am writing a thesis on time, drawing ideas mostly from Kant, Hegel, and Freud.


I am from Wuhan, a city in the People’s Republic of China, and I went to high school in Columbia, South Carolina, so that would count as my second hometown.

Student Assistant Weitao Liu at the O’Neill Library Digital Studio service desk.

What is your role at Boston College Libraries?

I work in the digital studio in O’Neill Library as a student assistant. Duties primarily consist of troubleshooting software issues that patrons may have, taking reservations for workstations and spaces, and maintaining the normal function of printers and other accessories.

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The Impact Factor

Journal Impact Factor, one of several frequently-used metrics of a journal’s influence, measures how often articles in a journal are cited. It’s a proprietary measure published by Journal Citation Reports, and in Web of Science. Sally Wyman, Head of Collection Development and Research Services, explains several strategies for finding Impact Factor scores.

Many of us have heard the phrase, some of us with dread, “Journal Impact Factor,” or JIF (or, even, IF). This is a commonly-used measure of perceived influence of journals in the social sciences and sciences. Despite some controversy over the value of this measurement, it is widely known and used.

Calculation of the Impact Factor of the journal Nature, as displayed in Journal Citation Reports. 2018 Journal Impact Factor = 73952/1,717 = 43.070
Calculation of the Impact Factor of the journal Nature, as displayed in Journal Citation Reports.

Here is the underlying equation:

JIF (2018) = # Citations in 2018 to items published in 2016 and 2017/
                    # Citable items in 2016 and 2017

You may often see the JIF/IF advertised on the homepages of journals. If it’s high, it tends to be easy to find on that page. You can also find a link to a pop-up (“View Journal Impact”) on any Web of Science article entry.

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