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Evaluate journals

Before publishing it is important to determine the quality of the journal you have in mind.

For questions around journal evaluation, do not hesitate to contact the Bibliometrics group

The following criteria are worth checking:

  • Is the journal ranked in the Norwegian database of journals and publishers?  Journals and publishers are ranked as level 1 (scholarly) or level 2 (leading scholarly channels in a field)

  • Is the journal indexed in Web of Science?  Large scale citation analyses are usually based on Web of Science, e.g. the national allocation model.  Also, visibility increases when a journal is indexed in a large database such as Web of Science.

  • Journals in Web of Science has a Journal Impact Factor (JIF), an indicator based on the average number of citations per article which can be used to compare journals’ impact.In Journal Citation Reports  JIF is listed and here you can rank journals in a subject category to see what journals have the highest JIF, i.e. are among the top cited journals in that field.

  • Is the journal indexed in Scopus? Scopus is a large database. which increases visibility for the journals included. For publications in Scopus you also get citation data.

  • Journals in Scopus have indicators for measuring impact - SNIP and SJR.
    In Journal Analyzer you can compare the impact of different journals. Read more about the indicators in Journal Metrics.

  • Is the journal listed in Ulrichs? In Ulrichs you can find out if the journal is refereed, and where it is indexed.

  • If the journal is not indexed in Web of Science or Scopus, you can use Google to evaluate the impact. There are two tools based on Google Scholar-data:

    1. Google Scholar Metrics

    2. The program Publish or Perish

  • Is the journal an open access-journal? Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) includes information on more than 6000 refereed OA-journals.

  • For open access-journals: is the publisher member of OASPA? OASPA is an umbrella organization with a strict code of conduct regarding peer-review standards. See also the library's list of predatory publishing, on the page Publish Open Access.

  • Do the author retain the right to parallel publishing? Preferably the embargo period should be 6 months (12 months in the humanities and social sciences) or less, to meet Vetenskapsrådet's rules. The embargo periods usually varies from 0 to 24 months - read more about the demands from funding agencies on the page Publish Open Access. In the  database Sherpa RoMEO you can find information about publishers' policy on parallel publishing.

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  • Who produces the journal? Do they give clear contact information?

  • Is there a clear and detailed description of the peer-review process?

  • Do well established authors in the field publish in the journal?

  • Is there regular publishing of articles, no periods of inactivity?

  • Are the articles visible on the internet? Try Googling a few articles by using their full titles to see if you get a hit back for the article.

  • Do the journal assign DOIs (Digital Object Identifier) to all articles.

Frequently asked questions about journal assessment

You find more information about journal assessment on the bibliometrics section Questions and answers page.


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Last updated: 2015-02-10