Improving medical students

How to Evaluate Academic Journals

Posted by medliorator on April 25, 2008

Assessing a Journal’s reputation can be daunting, subjective work, especially for those new to a specialty. While nothing can take the place of experience, exposure, and familiarity with the research community, there are free tools at your disposal to compare academic journals.

The frequency with which articles are cited in other journals is considered a measure of a journal’s influence. Careful attention should be paid to the many conditions that can influence citation rates (language, journal history, format, publication schedule, and subject). These conditions are described in closer detail here.

Journal Citation Reports (ISI)
Shows the most frequently cited journals in a field, the highest impact journals in a field, and the largest journals in a field. JCR calculates 5 quantitative measures of impact (Total Cites, Impact Factor, Immediacy Index, Current Articles, & Cited Half-Life). Editorials, letters, news items, and meeting abstracts are excluded in article counts.

Claims to rank journals using an algorithm similar to Google’s. Eigenfactor uses the structure of the entire network (instead of purely local citation information) as well as periodical price information (via to assess journal importance. Calculations are based on the citations received over a five year period.


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