This guide will help you to verify if a journal is peer-reviewed, to identify the most relevant and reputable journals for publishing your work.
Here you will find methods, tools and sources that will identify and evaluate the best journals for your research and learn how to avoid
1. Verify the peer review
status of journals
2. Identify potential journals
based on the subject, title or/and abstract of your research
3. Evaluate the relative importance of the journal
4. Avoid predatory
open-access journals and publishers
1. Verify the peer review status of journals
Start your search with Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory (available on-campus only with LAN connection, except for Rappaport Faculty of Medicine)
to establish the peer review status of journals, to find out which database includes the journal (such as Scopus or Web of Science) and to find
the publisher information and the journal’s frequency.
Ulrich is the authoritative source of bibliographic and publisher information on academic and scholarly journals, open access publications,
peer-reviewed titles, popular magazines, newspapers, newsletters and more from around the world. It covers all subjects, and includes
publications that are published regularly or irregularly and that are circulated free of charge or by paid subscription.
2. Identify the potential journals for publishing
The following tools will help you to match your work to potential journals in your field. By searching for titles or content of your work,
you will receive a list of potential journals. You can then use a variety of tools to discover the journals that are right for you.
Note: no journal finder will include all journals.
Journal Finder (Beta) will display Wiley journals that might be relevant for your research. To get a list of potential journals, simply search by the title and content of your work.
Journal Suggester (SPRINGER) will help you find relevant journals based on your work details. Use the search tool to view the most suitable journals for your research.
Journal Suggester Beta (Taylor & Francis) uses technology to match your manuscript to the most suitable journal. The tool will also help you to compare relevant journals.
Publication Recommender (IEEE) will allow you to search 190+ periodicals and 1800+ conferences, compare critical points such as Impact Factor and Submission-To-Publication Time, get all the key data about IEEE publications at a glance and download the results of your search.
Journal Finder (powered by the Elsevier Fingerprint Engine™) helps you find journals that could be best suited for publishing your scientific article. Journal Finder uses smart search technology and field-of-research specific vocabularies to match your paper to scientific journals.
The Master Journal List will help you find the right journal for your needs across multiple indices hosted on the Web of Science platform. In addition to the Web of Science Core Collection, you can search across the following specialty collections: Biological Abstracts, BIOSIS Previews, Zoological Record, Current Contents Connect and the Chemical Information products.
Search filters enable users to quickly navigate 24,000+ journals across 254 subject disciplines. Journal profile pages provide a more comprehensive view of a journal, with information on journal metrics, peer review details, open access information, and more.
3. Evaluate the relative importance of the journal
Once you have listed one or more possible journals, the next step is to rank your choice in comparison to other journals within the same or similar disciplines.
Journal metrics are a proxy measure used to evaluate the relative importance of a journal and identify major journals within a special field of study.
The most commonly used metrics are: Journal Impact Factor (Clarivate Analytics), SJR and SNIP (Scopus), SCImago SJR (Scopus), Google Scholar Metrics.
Journal Impact Factor (by Clarivate Analytics) provides a system for ranking journals according to citations.
The Journal Impact Factor is the average number of times articles from the journal (published in the past two years) have been cited in the JCR year. Calculation for Journal Impact Factor: A = total cites in 2019 B = 2019 cites to articles published in 2017-18 (this is subset of A) C = number of articles published in 2017-18 D = B/C = 2019 impact factor
Journal Citation Reports (JCR) – the only official database that calculates the Impact factor for academic journals.
Title Suppressions in JCR:
Not all journals have Impact Factors.
- Citation data only exists for the records indexed by JCR.
- There is a limited number of small-sized journals.
- Limited number of journals in non-English languages.
- Very few open access journals.
- New journals do not have Journal Impact Factors.
- Disciplines that use more references per paper are expected to increase the Impact Factor of the journal.
- The same journal may be ranked differently depending on the category being reviewed.
- Large and small journals are compared equally *Smaller or more specialized journals will tend to have smaller Impact Factors.
Journal Citation Reports (JCR) contains all the data required to understand the components that index the value and impact of each journal. JCR provides the following metrics:
- Impact factor
- 5-year impact factor – is the average number of times articles from the journal published in the past five years have been cited in the last five years (citations to articles from the most recent five full years, divided by the total number of articles from the most recent five full years)
- Immediacy index – is the average number of times articles from the journal published in the current year have been cited in the current year (citations to articles from the current year, divided by the total number of articles from the current year)
- Eigenfactor – Similar to the 5-Year Journal Impact Factor, but weeds out journal self-citations.
- Article Influence – the Eigenfactor score divided by the number of articles published in the journal.
SCImago Journal & Country Rank (SJR) – is a publicly available tool that includes the journals and country scientific indicators developed from the information contained in the Scopus database. These indicators can be used to assess and analyze scientific domains. Journals can be compared or analysed separately. SJR provides the following metrics:
- SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) – measures the scientific influence of scholarly journals that account for both the number of citations received by a journal and the importance or prestige of the journals where the citations come from. This value is calculated by dividing the number of citations received by the journal in the given year from primary items to primary items published in the three previous years by the number of primary items published on the journal in the three previous years. See detailed description of SJR (PDF).
- H-Index Shows the journal’s number of articles (h) that received at least h citations. It quantifies both journal scientific productivity and scientific impact and it is also applicable to scientists, countries, etc. (see H-index wikipedia definition)
Scopus – is the largest abstract and citation database for peer-reviewed literature. IT measures citation impact for journals, book series, conference proceedings and trade journals. Scopus provides the following metrics:
- CiteScore – The average citations per document that a title receives over a three-year period. CiteScore is the number of citations for a journal in one year to documents published in the three previous years, divided by the number of documents indexed in Scopus published in those same three years.
- SCImago Journal Rank (SJR)
- Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) – measures citations based on the number of citations in an academic field. If there are fewer citations per total in the specific research field, then every citation is considered more valuable.
Google Scholar Metric provides an easy way to quickly gauge the visibility and influence of recent articles in scholarly publications and provides the following metrics:
- h5-index 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.
- h5-median is the median number of citations for the articles that make up its h5-index. The h index expresses the journal’s number of articles (h) that have received at least h citations. It quantifies both journal scientific productivity and scientific impact and it is also applicable to scientists, countries, etc. (see H-index Wikipedia definition).
MathSciNet – is the leading mathematics indexing and abstracting database that incorporates the content of the American Mathematical Society’s Mathematical Reviews.
The ‘Journals tab’ provides the ability to search for publications by name or ISSN. The results link to a journal profiles provides an information about the publisher, previous journal names, dates of publication, and how it is indexed in MathSciNet. You will also find links to issues, articles and citation data.
The ‘Citations tab’ provides searches of citation information for authors, journals, subjects, and years.
There are also top 10 lists of the most cited journals by year.
4. Avoid predatory open-access journals and publishers
Open access journals is allowing authors to pay once the article had been peer reviewed and accepted.
This model of publishing opens an opportunity for scammers to create predatory journals and to earn money.
The same model is used for predatory conferences.
Visit Technion Library’s Author Guide On How to Publish an Open Access Article
The most recent definition of predatory journals and publishers was published in December 2019 in Nature:
“Predatory journals and publishers are entities that prioritize self-interest at the expense of scholarship and are characterized by false or misleading information, deviation from best editorial and publication practices, a lack of transparency, and/or the use of aggressive and indiscriminate solicitation practices.”
Cabells – Scholary Analytics – analyzes thousands of open-access journals in accordance to more than 60 suspicious behaviors in academic publishing. The database is essential tool for writers and readers to prevent their engagement with predatory open-access journals and publishers. Check if the journal appears in Cabells ‘blacklist’ and don’t publish in it.
Check for membership in well reputed Open Access directories and associations:
- Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) – an online directory that indexes high quality, peer-reviewed Open Access research journals, periodicals, and their articles’ metadata.
- Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) – a non-profit trade association representing the interests of open access journal publishers globally in all scientific, technical and scholarly disciplines.