Evaluating a journal


As a continuation of a previous post “Determine the quality of publishers and journals“, here is a list of things to watch out for according to Dom Mitchel, Community Manager at DOAJ:

“– Mass emails asking for submissions (spamming)
– Misspelt/nonsensical/poor quality language on the site
– Misleading journal titles
– Multiple journal launch dates at the same time
– Few/no articles published or articles published more than once
– Fake impact factor
– No archiving
– Running many/expensive conferences
– Unidentifiable editorial board (or board looks too good to be true)

If in doubt, check it!”

(Mitchel, 2014, p. 19)

So if you are in doubt you should, check it. Here are some tools that can help you check out the journal quality: Ulrichsweb, SHERPA/ RoMEO, Web of Science “Journal Citation Reports”, Scopus “Compare journals” and Google Metrics. 

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), aims to be the place you go to when you are out to find Open Access (OA) -journals that are guaranteeing that the journal content is controlled in a qualitative way.

Let’s start of by finding a journal in DOAJ. I search for “journal of applied” in the title field and find “Journal of Applied Fluid Mechanics”. The journal should be OA since it was found in DOAJ and it has at some point been evaluated. In the data there is information about the ISSN, this will be useful when using the other tools/databases. Finding this data does not necessarily mean that it is a good journal for you to publish in. But we do have data that can be used when putting the journal in a source critical context using the other search tools.

To  be continued; in the next part I will use the same journal making an example in Ulrichsweb.

Mitchel, D., 2014. Shifting academia’s focus to quality open access journals. [Lecture]. KTHB, 22 Oktober. (http://www.kth.se/polopoly_fs/1.511898!/oaweek_kth.pdf) [2015-02-10]