Looking to publish but not sure which peer-reviewed journals to consider? It is essential to consult scholarly productivity metrics before sending off your research.
If you have a specific journal in mind, check to see if the publication is peer-reviewed using Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory. Once you have determined it is, you can evaluate its “influence” a variety of ways.
First, you can check a journal’s impact factor (JIF) online using Journal Citation Reports (make sure you are logged in to Dal Libraries first). Aim to publish in a journal with a JIF of atleast 1.5, but the decision is up to you.
What is a JIF? A journal impact factor identifies the frequency with which an average article from a journal is cited, so you can assess a journal’s overall influence and importance. Read more here. Journal Citation Reports calculate impact factors by “dividing the number of citations in the year by the total number of articles published in the two previous years” (2012, Thomson Reuters). See how any JIF is calculated by selecting the journal title from within a Journal Citation Report query.
- Within Journal Citation Reports, browse journals in your subject area (try geology, paleontology, geochemistry and geophysics, geosciences, etc.) or search by title. Possible journals to consider include Marine and Petroleum Geology, Facies, Paleoceangraphy, Bulletin of Geosciences, or the AAPG Bulletin, etc.
It is important to remember that there are several conditions that may affect a JIF, including:
- “If a journal publishes a large number of reviews one year, there may be a temporary increase in the number of citations received.
- Sudden changes in a journal’s size can affect the Impact Factor. For example, when an article count drops, the Impact Factor may rise temporarily.
- In the first year after a journal title change, the new title is listed without an Impact Factor, because the article count for the two preceding years used in the Impact Factor calculations is zero” (2012, ISI Web of Knowledge).
Google Scholar also offers metrics for full-text academic articles freely available online, or articles’s whose author-written abstracts are freely accessible online. Google doesn’t use JIF’s, but rather a journal’s h5 Index and h5 Median. Articles that are only available through a library portal are not included in these, unless their abstracts are accessible elsewhere. To check if a particular paper is included in Google Scholar metrics, search Google Scholar for its title.
Here are the impact factors for a few academic journals within the “geoscience” category (taken from Journal Citation reports, 2015-01-19).
Need more advice? Do not hesitate to ask!