Skip to main content

Scholarly Publishing


Finding High Impact Journals in YOUR field:

Google Scholar Metrics:   Google ranks journals based on 5-Index (5 year hindex) and h5-median.  Filters by broad subject area, e.g. Engineering and Computer Science and by language. 

Journal Citation Reports: Ability to search by subject.

SCImago Journal & Country Rank:  built on SCOPUS data offers the ability to see journals and their h index with filters for area, e.g. Arts and Humanities and by category, e.g. Museology as well as country.

Journal suggestion tools:  All of these tools allow you to input information such as an abstract, a title or keywords and will return a list of journals that publish articles on those topics.  All of these are on the open web—there is no login and can be accessed from anywhere.

Checking Journal Quality

Blobaum's Checklist for Review of Journal Quality for Submission of Scholarly Manuscripts  This is a working paper is a checklist of quality indicators. 

Thinkchecksubmit   A checklist developed by scholarly publishing organizations and journals, questions to ask yourself before you submit and article to a journal you might not be familiar with.

Quality Open Access Market is a crowd-sourced effort that rates journals with score cards Green for strong, Yellow for weak, Red for Threat to authors and Blue for opportunity for publishers.

Predatory Publishers

Predatory publishers prey on scholars using many of the same techniques as phishing scams, e.g. email blasts with plausible stories. These publishers often approach scholars through email inviting submissions without mentioning publishing fees.  Predatory publishers are characterized by the following deceptive practices:

  • Journal titles similar to respected journals
  • Fake editorial boards--these may be real researchers whose names are used without their knowledge.
  • Editorial boards that are identical across all of a publishers titles
  • Fees to withdraw an article 

Note: The presence of a publishing fee does not mean the journal is predatory. 

Not certain?

  • Use ThinkCheckSubmit's check list to evaluate journals
  • Check the publishers website for clear information about publishing fees and their peer review process.
  • Check an independent source for the impact factor of the journal.
  • Look at the editorial board, does the list include the full affiliation, do the members of the board mention it on their c.v.?
  • Check to see if the publisher is a member of a respected industry organization such as the Directory of Open Access Journals or the Open Access Publishers Association
  • ASK a librarian  We will check for you. 

Ethics Video Series

Ethics Video Series: Authorship:  Who is the author?  Who should be considered an author?  What should the order of authors?

Ethics Video Series: Plagiarism:  This video deals plagiarism and self-plagiarism. What are the ethics of reuse of your own material?  Who is responsible for plagiarism in a multi-author paper?

Ethics Video Series: Publishing in Journals    Excellent video covering some of the commons questions about publishing.  Can I submit the same paper to two journals at the same time? (no)  Can I resubmit a rejected paper to the same journal again? (yes--with revision and permission). What do I do if I find a mistake in my work?

Scholarly Publishing Cycle

By Mietchen [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Impact Factor Tools

CWTS Journal Indicators: Based on the the Scopus database (Elsevier) and provided by Leiden University. Uses SNIP.  

eigenFACTOR:  provided by the University of Washington.  Search by a number of factors.  It is unclear if this source is being maintained, copyright on the page is not current.

Google Scholar Metrics: 

Author Metrics: Provides h index and i10-index measures based on analysis of content Google hasindexed.

Journal Metrics: Ranks journals by h5-index and h5-median, searchable by broad subject and language. 

InCites:  Web of Science's interface to Journal Citation Reports. 

Journal Citation Reports:  Often abbreviated as JCR, provides journal impact factors, searchable by specific journal, publisher or subject.

Journal Quality List:  Downloadable list, based evaluation on a number of sources other than standard publisher measures. 

Publish or Perish: Downloadable software to help authors calculate their impact factor.  Supports h-index and Egge g-index. 

SciFinderChemistry and scientific information, required additional account.

SCImago Journal & Country Rank : based on Scopus data provides a number of journal impact factors with filters to narrow the results to specific subjects or countries. 

Web of Science:  Another entry point for InCites and Journal Citation Reports data.

Peer Review

Peer reviewed, sometimes called refereed journals, are journals whose articles have gone through peer review.  This means that experts in the field will read articles before they are accepted for publication for accuracy, authority and originality (does this add to the body of knowledge or merely restate what is already known).

Peer review can be:

Double Blind: The names of the author(s) and reviewers are not disclosed to each other. 

Open: The names of the author(s) and reviewers are disclosed to each other. 

Post Publication: Articles are reviewed only for basic accuracy and that the results support the conclusion. The community passes judgment on the value of the article post publication through comment and discussion.

Single Blind: The reviewer's name is not disclosed to the author but the author's name is disclosed to the reviewer.


Aggregate Cited Half Life: Indicates the turnover rate for a body of work.

Altmetrics: Altmetrics go beyond normal citation metrics to include alternative impact measures including downloads, views, blogs and, tweets.  Altmetrics expands the community of comment beyond the limits of bibliometrics. 

Article Influence: The Eigenfactor score divided by the number of articles published in journal.  "I know how impactful the journal as a whole is, but what about the average individual article in the journal?"

Author Identities:  Codes that identify the works of an author as distinct from an author with the same or similar name.

Author Impact Factor: The impact of a specific author based on the number of citations over time.  h-index is an example of an author impact factor. 

Bibliometrics: in the context of impact factor, measures of citations at the journal and article level.

Cited Half-Life: "The cited half-life is the number of publication years from the current year which account for 50% of current citations received."  (Ladwig and Sommense)

Eigenfactor: Similar to the 5-Year Journal Impact Factor, but weeds out journal self-citations.  It also, unlike the Journal Citation Reports impact factor, cuts across both the hard sciences and the social sciences.

g-index: Proposed by Egghe in 2006 to overcome a bias against highly cited papers inherent in the h-index. The g-index is the "highest number of papers of a scientist that received gg2 or more ciations" (Schreiber)

Google Scholar Metrics:  

Author Metrics: Google provides its own calculations for an author's h index, including a number of variations based on it's indexed content.

Journal Metrics: Lists top publications based on their "five-year h-index and h-median metrics." 

h-Index:  Proposed by J.E. Hirsch in 2005 the h-index is intended to serve as a proxy of the contribution of an individual researcher. The h index is calculated through a formula that considers the number of publications and the number of citations per publication. 

h5-index: This metric is based on the articles published by a journal over 5 calendar years. h is the largest number of articles that have each been cited h times. A journal with an h5-index of 43 has published, within a 5-year period, 43 articles that each have 43 or more citations.

i10-index   Introduced by Google Scholar in 2011 the i10-index measures an athors publications with at least 10 citations. 

Immediacy Index: The average number of times a journal article is cited in its first year.  Used to compare journals publishing in emerging fields. 

Impact Factor: a measure of often a journal or specific author is cited. The intent is to assign a number as a proxy for the contribution of a publication or researcher to the field. 

IPP-Impact per Publication: Also known as RIP (raw impact per publication), the IPP is used to calculate SNIP. IPP is number of current-year citations to papers from the previous 3 years, divided by the total number of papers in those 3 previous years.

Journal Cited Half-Life: For the current Journal Citation Reports year, the median age of journal articles cited.  "What is the duration of citation to articles in this journal?"

Journal Immediacy Index: Citations to articles from the current year, divided by the total number of articles from the current year.  "How much is this journal being cited during the current year?"

Journal Impact Factor: Citations to articles from the most recent two full years, divided by the total number of articles from the most recent two full years.  "How much is this journal being cited during the most recent two full years?"

ORCID: Open Researcher and Contributor ID, a researcher identification system not tied to a specific vendor. The ORCID is intended to disambiguate author/researcher names across publishers and across all areas of contribution.

ResearcherID: the author identification system supported by Thomson Reuters. 

Retraction:   When an article is withdrawn from a publication it is retracted. Articles may be retracted for a number of reasons including: plagiarism; self plagiarism; flawed research methods; ethics issues (especially human subjects); or fraudulent data. Retraction Watch gives daily updates on known instances of retractions.

Self-Citation: referencing one's own publications. There is nothing wrong with citing one's own research but is not considered as meaningful as citations by others. 

SJR: This metric doesn't consider all citations of equal weight; the prestige of the citing journal is taken into account.

SNIP-Source-Normalized Impact per Paper: SNIP weights citations based on the number of citations in a field. If there are fewer total citations in a research field, then citations are worth more in that field.

5-Year Journal Impact Factor: Citations to articles from the most recent five full years, divided by the total number of articles from the most recent five full years. "How much is this journal being cited during the most recent five full years?"

Many of these definitions are used with the kind permission of Robin Sinn and John Hopkins University or from the University of Michigan.