In addition to evaluating other authors' work, the perceived quality of a journal can influence where you choose to publish your own work. Factors such as impact and peer review can be used in determining new hires and tenure cases by colleges and universities.
Changing publishing models, including the rise of open access journals, have reshaped the ways in which scholars share and use journal articles. More than ever, understanding the criteria for assessing journal quality is critical in determining the overall value of any publication.
Traditional measures, such as peer review, impact factors, and the reputation of the journal, continue to be hallmarks within the academic community. New techniques of journal ranking and a rising interest in article-level assessment have also emerged. Increasingly, alternative metrics (sometimes referred to as “altmetrics”) are being considered in evaluating journal quality, tracking the diffusion of scholarship through non-traditional sources such as blogs, social media, and digital repositories.
Before publishing with a journal or becoming part of their editorial board, it is important to know how to assess the quality of a journal. For instance, is it Open Access or do readers need to pay a subscription? What is their readership and will your work read a broad audience? Are the journal’s practices ethical? To answer these questions and more, we've provided a list of resources to get you started.
If you have any questions about the suitability of a journal, please contact your subject librarian.