Scholarly Publishing: Assessing Journal Quality

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Methods for Assessing Scholarly Publications

One of the challenges for people who want to get published is to determine which publications are respected in the field. You can use Ulrichsweb to find out if specific journals are identified as peer reviewed and/or scholarly. (See tutorial.)  

There are also several tools for identifying "top tier" journals:

Cabell's Directory of Publishing Opportunities is the complete source for journal info, evaluation metrics, and submission details-for universities of any size. Real impact starts with finding the right audience. Watch this video to learn more.

Journal Citation Reports (JCR) (a database provided by Clarivate Analytics) is frequently consulted when scholars need to assess the noteworthiness of a particular journal in the sciences or social sciences. JCR can also be used to evaluate authors or articles appearing in those journals.  JCR uses an algorithm based on the average number of citations to articles published in journals to calculate a journal's Impact Factor (IF). JCR uses a core list of about 8,700 journal titles when calculating the Impact Factors of journals.  Access to information about a journal's Impact Factor requires a subscription to JCR.

The Eigenfactor score is another measure of a journal's relative importance, but this approach uses both the number of "incoming" citations to the journals as well as what is determined to be the total importance of the journal to the scientific community. This is similar to Google's PageRank approach. Access to the Eigenfactor is free at http://eigenfactor.org Like JCR, Eigenfactor scores count the same 8,700 journal titles that used in JCR.

SCImago Journal & Country Rank database can be accessed free at http://www.scimagojr.com SCImago's journal rank indicators, also known as SJRs, are similar to the Eigenfactor scores. The major difference is that the SJRs are based on information obtained from Elsevier's Scopus database which includes more than 17,000 titles from 5,000 publishers. Because of the broader coverage provided by Scopus, this means that SCImago provides scholars with more information about more titles than is provided by either the JCR or the Eigenfactor score.

Google's PageRank -- PageRank is a link analysis algorithm and used by the Google search engine. It assigns a numerical weighting to each element of a hyperlinked set of web documents in order to measure the relative importance of documents within the set. However, the algorithm may be applied to any collection of entities with reciprocal quotations and references. The numerical weight that it assigns to any given element E is referred to as the PageRank of E and denoted by PR(E). The name "PageRank" is a trademark of Google, and the PageRank process has been patented (U.S. Patent 6,285,999). Although the patent is assigned to Stanford University and not to Google, Google does have exclusive license rights to the patent from Stanford University.

Citation analysis -- If none of the methods discussed above work for you, you can look at the resources cited in a top journal in your specific field and do a citation analysis to find out which journals are cited the most frequently by scholars in your discipline.