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Judging the quality of a journal

Often research scholars get confused in judging the quality of a journal. There are various means to find out a good journal.

Following are some measures for evaluating the quality of journal

1. Thomson Reuters ISI Impact Factor

Journal Citation Reports® offers a systematic, objective means to critically evaluate the world’s leading journals, with quantifiable, statistical information based on citation data. By compiling articles’ cited references, JCR helps to measure research influence and impact at the journal and category levels, and shows the relationship between citing and cited journals.

Now offered on the InCites platform, JCR allows you to access and explore the underlying data that informs JCR metrics from article keywords to citation thresholds.  This expanded capability lets you conduct analysis and comparisons of citation relationships across journals and categories over time.

The recognized authority for evaluating journals, JCR presents quantitative data that supports a systematic, objective review of the world’s leading journals. Using a combination of impact and influence metrics, and millions of cited and citing journal data points that comprise the complete journal citation network of Web of Science™, JCR provides the context to understand a journal’s true place in the world of scholarly literature.

Journal Impact Factor is from Journal Citation Report (JCR), a product of Thomson ISI (Institute for Scientific Information). JCR provides quantitative tools for evaluating journals. The impact factor is one of these; it is a measure of the frequency with which the “average article” in a journal has been cited in a given period of time.

The impact factor for a journal is calculated based on a three-year period, and can be considered to be the average number of times published papers are cited up to two years after publication. For example, the impact factor 2008 for a journal would be calculated as follows:

A = the number of times that articles published in that journal in 2006 and 2007, were cited by articles in indexed journals during 2008.

B = the total number of “citable items” published by that journal in 2006 and 2007. (“Citable items” are usually articles, reviews, proceedings, or notes; not editorials or letters to the editor.)

2008 impact factor = A/B.

More information: http://thomsonreuters.com/journal-citation-reports/

2. Google Scholar Metrics

Google Scholar Metrics provide an easy way for authors to quickly gauge the visibility and influence of recent articles in scholarly publications. Scholar Metrics summarize recent citations to many publications, to help authors as they consider where to publish their new research.

To get started, you can browse the top 100 publications in several languages, ordered by their five-year h-index and h-median metrics. To see which articles in a publication were cited the most and who cited them, click on its h-index number to view the articles as well as the citations underlying the metrics.

You can also explore publications in research areas of your interest. To browse publications in a broad area of research, select one of the areas in the left column. For example: Engineering & Computer Science or Health & Medical Sciences.

To explore specific research areas, select one of the broad areas, click on the “Subcategories” link and then select one of the options. For example: Databases & Information Systems or Development Economics.

Browsing by research area is, as yet, available only for English publications. You can, of course, search for specific publications in all languages by words in their titles.

Scholar Metrics are currently based on our index as it was in July 2013.

More information: http://scholar.google.com/intl/en/scholar/metrics.html

Authors should also read the correlation between Google Scholar h-index and ISI Impact Factor at: http://www.harzing.com/

Table : Non-ISI indexed journals with a high h-index

Journal Title h-index Published in:
European Journal of Political Economy 28 Europe
International Journal of Project Management 27 Europe
ACM Transactions on Computer Human Interaction 26 USA
Journal of Knowledge Management 26 Europe
Empirical Economics 24 Europe
Accounting Horizons 23 USA
European Management Journal 23 Europe
Journal of Empirical Finance 23 Europe
European Journal of Marketing 22 Europe
Journal of Environmental Management 22 Europe
Journal of Financial Services Research 22 USA
Review of Finance 22 Europe
European Financial Management 21 Europe
Journal of Business Finance & Accounting 21 Europe
Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal 20 Europe
Business Strategy & the Environment 20 Europe
International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management 20 Europe
McKinsey Quarterly 20 USA
Academy of Management Learning & Education 19 USA
Electronic Markets 19 Europe
European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 19 Europe
Human Resource Management Journal 19 Europe
Journal of Industrial Ecology 19 USA
Journal of International Development 19 Europe
Management Accounting Research 19 Europe
Economics of Innovation and New Technology 18 Europe
German Economic Review 18 Europe
Industry and Innovation 18 Europe
International Business Review 18 Europe
Applied Financial Economics 17 Europe
Critical Perspectives on Accounting 17 Europe
Electronic Commerce Research 17 USA
Information Technology and People 17 Europe
International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management 17 Europe
Journal of Business Logistics 17 USA
Journal of Consumer Marketing 17 Europe
Journal of Financial Research 17 USA
Journal of Services Marketing 17 Europe
Journal of Supply Chain Management 17 USA
Managing Service Quality 17 Europe
Asia-Pacific Journal of Management 16 Asia
Business & Society 16 USA
European Accounting Review 16 Europe
Human Resource Management Review 16 Europe
Information and Organization 16 Europe
International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management 16 Europe
Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing 16 Europe
Journal of Computational Finance 16 USA
Journal of International Management 16 Europe
Journal of Public Economic Theory 16 USA
Journal of Travel Research 16 USA
Knowledge and Process Management 16 Europe
Management Decision 16 Europe
National Institute Economic Review 16 Europe

Spearman correlation between h-index & JIF is around 0.8 (Source: http://www.harzing.com/)

Lots of  journals are having h-index greater than ISI Impact Factor and the list you can read at the above link

Authors should also compare the different journal’s h-index and i10-index in Google Scholars citation, It is the latest citation matrix.

3. Eigenfactor Score and Article Influence Score

Eigenfactor® scores and Article Influence® scores rank journals much as Google ranks websites.

Scholarly references join journals together in a vast network of citations. Our algorithms use the structure of the entire network (instead of purely local citation information) to evaluate the importance of each journal.

In collaboration with journalprices.com, Eigenfactor.org provides information about price and value for thousands of scholarly periodicals. While the Eigenfactor Scores and Article Influence Scores do not incorporate price information directly, the Cost-Effectiveness Search orders journals by a measure of the value per dollar that they provide.

Eigenfactor.org not only ranks scholarly journals in the natural and social sciences, but also lists newsprint, PhD theses, popular magazines and more. In so doing, it more fairly values those journals bridging the gap between the social and natural sciences.

Different disciplines have different standards for citation and different time scales on which citations occur. The average article in a leading cell biology journal might receive 10-30 citations within two years; the average article in leading mathematics journal would do very well to receive 2 citations over the same period. By using the whole citation network, our algorithm automatically accounts for these differences and allows better comparison across research areas.

In many research areas, articles are not frequently cited until several years after publication. Therefore, measures that only look at citations in the first two years after publication can be misleading. The Eigenfactorscore and the Article Influence score is calculated based on the citations received over a five year period.

More Information: http://www.eigenfactor.org/

4. Global Impact Factor (GIF) an another agency claims to judge the quality of journals having full review expert committee.  The description is given below

The Global Impact Factor  provides quantitative and qualitative tool for ranking, evaluating and categorizing the journals for academic evaluation and excellence. This factor is used for evaluating the prestige of journals. The evaluation is carried out by considering the factors like peer review originality, scientific quality, technical editing quality, editorial quality and regularity.

They perform the in-depth analysis method. The acceptance and rejection rates of journals can be a determining factor. Low acceptance rate, high rejection rate journals are considered the best and most prestigious journals as the acceptance criteria is of high quality standard. Many journals and societies have web pages that give publication data and style requirements and often includes acceptance/rejection rates. The paper copy of the journal occasionally includes this data and will always provide current contact information.

Whether a journal is indexed in the major indexing/abstracting service in the field is another criteria that can be used to assess the worth and quality of a journal. They have expert reviewers team from all over the world.

More information: www.globalimpactfactor.com

5. Publisher of a journal

The authors can get an idea for the publisher. Old and renowned publisher usually produce articles of good quality.

6. Reviewers and editorial board

If the journal has qualified and experienced editorial board members and follows a peer reviewed process, the journal will have good quality.

7. Indexing in various databases

The journals indexed in various good databases and universities have good quality.

8. Article published per year

9. Whether the journal is Free or Paid

It is not always necessary that a paid journal does not publish good quality research. There are many paid journals that publish very good quality research. The journals that are free, of course from the author’s point of view thy are good but they earn millions of dollars by selling the articles. Free journals do not necessarily means good. It depends on the review process and the reviewer’s comments or whether the article has been reviewed or not.

Research scholars are advised that they should carefully judge the quality of the journals before submitting.


Other factors like Google Citation, peer review process should also be considered.

It should be noted that direct links should be there so that you can check the different indexing clearly. Some times the journals write various indexing without giving the direct links.