Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Reading a Journal Website

Learning how to evaluate a journal is an important skill. We have explored the associated issues of impact factor and prestige previously, so I will not be discussing them here. However, as we mentioned, it is important to pay attention to such issues, and how they will impact your career. For now, I want you to think about how to "read" a journal's website, and what information to consider when considering whether or not to publish in a journal.

Lets take a good look at a journal that I have not really explored much before: Journal of Research in Gender Studies. I will spread this discussion over a couple of days.

Open the link, and lets take a look together. On the front page, it talks "about" the journal. This can be called the aims and scope in other journals. Scroll down, it explores the range and scope of disciplines covered. It also presents the 2012 acceptance rate. At 24.76 percent, I would say this is a moderately competitive  journal. Of course, this may or may not have anything to do with the quality of the journal, and the type of experience you will have as an author. That has to do with author friendless  which I have explored before, and will do so at other times. It is a very important concept.

Scroll down farther, and it presents where the journal is indexed. If you take a look at the different tabs, you will see it provides information about the editorial board, information for contributors, and contents. Lets take a look at the contributors contents page. I always take a look at an issue or two, and get a sense if my article "feels" like it would fix. That is important; if you don't get a sense that your work is congruent with what you see, you may not have a great chance of having a paper accepted. Personally, what I like about what I see is that this journal has a very inclusive view of what research is. Some journals that use the word research in their title seem to privileged research informed by logical positivism. Not so here.

Now, spend a few more minutes evaluating the journal. See if you can lean anything else that you would need to know in order to make a decision for yourself. I will pick this discussion back up in a couple of days.

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