Qualitative Journal Assessment

Authors usually wish to publish their articles in a high rank journal. Publishing in a high rank journal not only upgrades your resume, it also brings about better job and investment opportunities. Researchers typically use Journal Impact Factor (JIF) for the general assessment of the journal. Yet JIF has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here we consider other factors that are essential for the journal assessment.

How to assess a journal?

The first step in selecting a journal is probably to prepare a short list of the journals that publish the best articles in your field of interest. A high quality journal is a great chance for your article to be better seen, because it obviously has great number of readers. Therefore, you can assess journal quality with three main factors:

  • Citation analysis: Journal Impact Factor has its drawbacks, but is still important. It is the average of the times that the journal is cited during a specific period of time.
  • Peer Review: Do the articles have been reviewed by the experts in the field?
  • Circulation: Do your selected journal reach your target audience with regard to its indexing services.

Consideration of these criteria

None of the above mentioned criteria should be considered alone for the quality assessment of the journal because they all have their advantages and disadvantages which we discuss in below.

The Citation Analysis

It makes sense to rank a journal based on its citation average because this indicates its popularity. Therefore,

  • Quantitative
  • Updated regularly
  • Assessed by an unbiased party

The journal quality is questionable for the following reasons:

  • Not all the citations vouch for the high quality of an article.
  • Journal authors tend to cite each other.
  • The article type has an influence here. The review articles are more cited compared to original articles.

Peer Review

Peer review is the careful high quality review of an article before it is published in a journal. Nevertheless, pay attention to the criteria of reviewer selection in order to be able to assess the reviewers. Though the reviewers are expert in their own field, the scope of their knowledge and experience is vast and this often leads to difference in views and ideas.

Other factors to be considered:

Other than the above mentioned factors, there are some factors that might be used for judging the journal quality.

The Standardized Framework of Research Reporting

The journal arranges a standard to make sure that all the required information for the article assessment exist in the article.

Journal Ranking

The ranking of the journal is based on the citation record and also the prestige of the journal. The journal ranking indicates the perception of the authors and researchers about the journal.

The Discussion Platform

The ability to discuss merits and drawbacks of an article rises the value of research community. This is only worthwhile if the research community participates in it.

The Acceptance/Rejection Rate

Some journal publishes these rates on their websites. The high rate of rejection indicate that the journal is particular about the quality of the researches that it publishes. The drawback is that the journal does not explain the reason for the rejections. The high rate of rejection can be for the lack of publication space.

To obtain the general ranking of the journal and decide which journal is more suitable to you, you can consider all the above mentioned factors. Remember you cannot compare different journals because the criteria standard differ.

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