Quality upgrade is one the most important issues in a scientific journal in which budget and financial factors play a crucial role. Each issue should qualitatively excel the previous one and this matter of quality depends highly on the budget available to the journal. Again it must be noticed while budget plays an essential role here, it is not the one and only factor. Higher budget does not necessarily lead to higher quality and proper budget management is a central factor here.
The supervisors of a scientific journal should not possess an ambitious outlook and must know that a monthly periodical journal containing high quality articles is much better than a scientific journal containing low quality articles. An important matter is that the publishing time of a scientific journal should not sacrifice the quality. The content quality of a scientific journal is measured by the quality of its articles. It means that paying attention to the details in editing, graphic design, professional page layout, on schedule publishing, proper design and overseeing the publishing job are among the essentials factors to rise the quality of journals.
Editing and page designing of a journal with low quality articles are wasting of the time while the time spent on a poorly written article with valuable subject is precious. It should be considered that many of researchers write their articles in languages other than their mother language and this can affect the quality of the written article. Therefore, the acceptance or rejection of an article should be done based on its scientific quality or condition rather than its literature.
Besides the above mentioned matters, it is essential for the scientific journal to be properly designed and published on time. Paying attention to these factors can attract more audience and higher quality articles to the journal and will increase the chance of the journal to be indexed in authentic international scientific archives (e.g. Web of science).
The factors influencing the quality of a scientific journal
Having a sufficient budget guarantees the progress of a scientific journal life. When a journal starts to be published, it must have sufficient budget because this will affect greatly the life continuance of a scientific journal. The budget determines the type of the services that the journal can undertake to increase the quality of its articles’ content. The journal’s budget is invested on the following procedures and on the journal’s quality rise.
Arbitration: Although the arbitration process is done voluntarily and free of charge, the managing of arbitration process requires a budget.
Editing: It can be done voluntarily and free of charge, yet it is better to be done by persons or companies with related expertise.
Page layout and design: It can be performed voluntarily by one of the scientific journal’s personnel, but it would be better to be consigned to professional people or organizations (considering the available budget) via a contract.
The printing process, the type and weight of the paper, colored or black and white, hard cover design, colorful hard cover and binding.
The publication period: it means that it will be published in monthly, seasonally and every six month intervals.
The distribution of journal and the managing of charges (accounting).
Peer review quality
The journals that are not punished regularly usually have low quality articles. It is important that the readers and the writers of the article as the main audience of each journal expect that the journal should be published on time and in a concise and orderly manner. This is a pre-requisite for journals to be indexed in valid scientific archives. Therefore, paying attention to estimations of publishing time table and its execution is crucial.
Many journals mention the sending and accepting time of the article so that the readers (potential writers) be informed about the duration of the time that it takes for their articles to be reviewed and published.
The designing of a scientific journal is important for the reason that the journal must be attractive to the readers besides having a professional graphic design. The graphic design of the journal does not need to be extricate, rather it must be readable and an integrity should be observed in different Journal issues.
The colorfulness of the journal is often considered as a quality related factor, yet this is not an essential feature for publication of the journal unless some figures and images need to be colorful. The most important matter is that the printed content of the journal be readable in print or online issues. In journal design, the appearance of the journal should not differ egregiously in every issue and there needs to be a concise instruction in this matter from the beginning. In case the scientific journal editor decides to practice some changes in the design, the changes should not be transitory and should be observed in the future issues.
Maintaining timely and proper interactions among active people in a scientific journal (for example editors, authors, people in printing house) is very important. Also it is essential that an exact and meticulous plan exist for rapid and timely interactions among different people.
There are executive and technical procedures in scientific journals through which interaction among colleagues develop. The executive procedures are the current procedures centered around human forces determining the subject of the procedure and its duration. The executive procedures can take the form of using technologic devices in order to maximize effectiveness in the performed procedure.
Procedures in the following subjects can lead to increased scientific quality of journal.
Tracking procedure: This is a procedure for a timely, rapid and proper process from the time the draft of the article is received until the final decision of the editor and publishing of the new issue of scientific journal and it might consist of typing the working progress in an excel file or other file systems. The assistant editor has to always check that this process is updated and leads to the quality rise of the scientific journal.
The procedure of Peer-reviewed arbitration: The aim is to evaluate the drafts of the sent article to the journal and includes the selection of arbitrators, sending the invitation letter, determining the delay in dispatching of arbitrator, etc. Technical procedures can improve this process and oversee the activities of arbitrators through automatic reminders and develop online cooperation with the arbitrators.
Editing procedure: Like the scientific content of the journal, have to be performed in the highest standard and follow the journal’s instructions.
The dissemination procedure: Must be performed in a coordinated and comprehensive manner and in a way that the reader can have a prompt access to it.