USF Shimberg Health Sciences Library

Journal Evaluation

Before responding to that article request or sending off your manuscript, evaluate the journal's credentials. While the growth of online publications have contributed to the ease and speed of publishing study findings, it has also increased the number of publishers who are unscholarly at best and outright predatory at worst.

Below we've listed some tools you can use to evaluate the journal before you publish.

Is the journal recognized as scholarly?

Is the journal respected in the discipline?

  • For journals included in the InCites Journal Citation Report (JCR), the impact factor can tell you how often articles within that journal have been cited. The higher the impact factor, the more influence your article is likely to have (and the more likely your article is to be cited.)
  • Scopus covers a broader range of journals than JCR. It includes three numbers that indicate the influence of the journal: CiteScore, SJR, and SNIP, each with its own algorithm.
  • Keep in mind that impact factor will vary with content of the journal and the size of the discipline. Journals that publish guidelines typically have very high impact factors while journals in a very specific sub-specialty may look low. The best measure of journal influence is typically in comparison with others from the same discipline. There is no set "good" number for journal impact.
  • Use cite reports from Google Scholar with caution as it includes cites from non-scholarly sources, such as course syllabi, and may inflate numbers.

Other Journal Evaluation Tools