Scholarly journals are usually published by and for experts. In order to publish in a scholarly journal, an article must first pass through a peer review process in which a group of experts in the field reviews the article for content, scholarly soundness and academic value. This review process helps ensure that articles reflect solid scholarship in their fields.
Keep in mind that not all articles published in refereed journals are themselves refereed. Examples of non-refereed articles include editorials, letters, opinion pieces, conference reports.
To check if a journal is peer reviewed:
The journal impact factor is:
... a measure of the frequency with which the "average article" in a journal has been cited in a particular year or period. .. the impact factor of a journal is calculated by dividing the number of current year citations to the source items published in that journal during the previous two years. (The Thomson Reuters Impact Factor)
Where to find journal impact factors:
It is important to understand the limitation and biases of the impact factor when evaluating journal quality, including:
SJR (Scimago Journal Rank) is a prestige metric based on the idea that ‘all citations are not created equal’. With SJR, the subject field, quality and reputation of the journal has a direct effect on the value of a citation.
SJR ranks can be found:
The ERA 2015 Submitted Journal List includes 16,229 journals that received submissions for ERA 2015. For inclusion on the ERA 2015 Journal List, journals met the following criteria:
Rick Anderson (1) identifies 4 major types of deceptive publishing:
Jocalyn Clark (2) recommends the following points to consider when evaluating a journal or publisher:
If the journal is claiming to be open access, is it listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)? All journals listed in DOAJ must meet specific criteria, covering the quality and transparency of the editorial process, and openness of the journal.
1. Anderson, Rick. (2015). Deceptive Publishing: Why We Need a Blacklist, and Some Suggestions on How to Do It Right. The Scholary Kitchen, August 17th.
2. Clark, Jocelyn. (2015). How to avoid predatory journals—a five point plan. BMJ Blog 15 January 2015