Evaluating a Journal (as a Potential for Publishing an Article)
Before publishing it is important to determine whether a journal is serious or not. The following are worth checking:
- is the journal in ISI WoS, what is its ranking by impact factor within its subject area (preferably a journal should be in the top 50% of journals in its field; there is some correlation between the ranking of a journal and the impact of articles within the journal)? A journal not being in ISI is not necessarily a bad sign, many open access journals are relatively new and it takes several years to get into ISI, however one should recognize that under the current national bibliometrics model in Sweden, only those articles that are in journals that are indexed by ISI are "counted".
- is the journal ranked in the Norwegian database of journals and publishers? (keep in mind if the journal or publisher is not listed in ISI or the Norwegian database, the publication is very unlikely to "count" in any academic evaluation exercise).
- is the journal in Scopus, what is its normalized impact factor (SNIP)? Instructions.
- is the journal listed in Ulrich's (indication that it is peer-reviewed)?;
- what is the citation rate to articles in the journal in Publish or Perish? (of course take this as a loose indication only, because of issues with data quality in Google Scholar).
- who is on the editorial committee?;
- who produces the journal? do they give clear contact information?;
- is their a clear and detailed description of the peer-review process?;
- is there regular publishing of articles, no periods of inactivity?;
- try Googling a few articles by using their full titles. Do you get a hit back for the article (i.e. are the articles in the journal visible)?
- do they require transfer of copyright? (should be avoided with open access journals);
- do you retain the right to parallel publishing (preferably with an embargo period of 6 months or less, to meet VR's rules)?;
- do they assign DOIs (Digital Object Identifier) to all articles?;
- do well established authors in the field publish in the journal?;
- for open access journals, is the publisher a member of OASPA? OASPA is an umbrella organization with a strict code of conduct regarding peer-review standards;
- if the journal is an open access journal, is the journal listed in the Director of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)?;
Some journals are known to be a little dubious. We try to keep an up-to-date list of these.