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Get Published: Journal Articles

Criteria to examine when checking the quality of a journal:

  • What is the scope and focus of the journal?
  • Does the journal have an independent peer review process?
  • What is the composition of the editorial board?
  • Are the author guidelines and the publisher's conditions acceptable?
  • Does the journal have a copyright and open access policy?
  • What is the journal's publication schedule (based on earlier volumes)?
  • What is the average turnaround time from submission to acceptance?
  • What is the journal's rate of acceptance?
  • Do past issues of the journal contain quality articles?
  • Does the journal have a Journal Impact Factor (JIF)? (learn more here)
  • Are DOIs are assigned to individual articles?
  • Does the journal have an online presence and high visibility e.g. is it listed in catalogues of other university libraries and research institutions in your field of study?
  • What contact details are listed for the journal?

The term peer review is used interchangeably with refereed.

The quality of journal articles is controlled through the process of peer review. Peer reviewed journals are considered to have more academic integrity than journals or other publications that are not peer reviewed.

Peer review is the process by which a manuscript is evaluated by experts in the same field of research as the article. Peer reviewers recommend whether the manuscript falls within the scope and focus of the journal, provide feedback on how the article can be improved, and state whether they feel it should be accepted / rejected for publication in that journal.

Not all articles published in peer reviewed journals are refereed. Typical examples include book reviews, editorials and letters or short communications.

The lists of journals and publishers at the following links are created for various purposes but all have undergone some degree of quality control. Use these lists to help you investigate the quality of a journal or publisher.

It is important that you carefully read and follow a journal's Instructions to Authors.

Make sure you do not sign the publishing agreement until you are sure that you understand what you are agreeing to. Get advice if there are clauses that you do not understand or are concerned about.

Examples of publisher Instructions to Authors *:

* Note: Instructions to Authors may vary for specific journals.

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