|Year : 2015 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 61-62
Assessment of the quality of a journal: Scientific approach
Saurabh R Shrivastava, Prateek S Shrivastava, Jegadeesh Ramasamy
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
|Date of Web Publication||23-Jun-2015|
Saurabh R Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
From a researcher's perspective, the primary target is to publish their research work so that the scientific community can acknowledge their contribution. However, to accomplish their target they should have an access to indices which can guide them about the quality of a journal. Different scientifically proven indicators have been employed by various journals to assess the quality of a journal. To conclude, in order to ascertain the quality of the journal it is better to employ a combination of different scientific indices instead of over-reliance on a solitary index to avoid limitations of individual indices.
Keywords: Eigenfactor score, H-index, impact factor
|How to cite this article:|
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Assessment of the quality of a journal: Scientific approach. Int J Adv Med Health Res 2015;2:61-2
| Introduction|| |
From a researcher's perspective, the primary target is to publish their research work so that the scientific community can acknowledge their contribution. However, to accomplish their target, they should have access to indices that can guide them about the quality of a journal.  In-fact, some of the researchers are of the opinion that by merely publishing their research work in an open access journal can augment the reach as they are freely accessible. 
Although, on a crude basis parameters like circulation (viz. copies sold per month); readership or number of hits; number of downloads for an article; and scientometrics (viz. deals with the quantitative features and characteristics of a journal like type of articles published), may be used, nevertheless, often they do not present the precise details. , Different scientifically proven indicators have been employed by various journals to assess the quality of a journal, such as.
Impact factor is one of the most significant and widely used indicators to ascertain the quality of a journal within its field worldwide. It is defined as the total number of citations in the current year to articles in the previous 2 years divided by the number of articles published in previous 2 years. For instance, the impact factor for a journal for the year 2014 can be calculated by dividing the number of articles (published in the year 2012 and 2013) in the journal, which are cited by any journal in 2014 with the total number of articles published in that journal in the year 2012 and 2013. The impact factor of most of the journals can be checked at the journal webpage itself, as higher the impact factor, better the quality of the journal. However, the impact factor for a specific journal can also be determined from the agencies like International Scientific Indexing or Science Citation Index-Thompson Reuters, etc. As computation of the impact factor is a scientific process, it requires monetary involvement, and thus most of the journals never opt for estimating their impact factor. In addition, impact factor cannot be computed for those journals that are <2 years old. ,
However, usage of impact factor as a solitary method to assess the quality of the journal is not recommended owing to the concerns like self-citation, journals with more number of review articles, bias attributed to English language, etc. Despite the presence of multiple inherent limitations, the impact factor has been widely employed mainly because of the excessive competition among researchers for funding or job opportunities, absence of any other measure to judge the quality of research work, prestigious for the institution, etc. ,
The Eigenfactor score (ES) measures the number of times articles from the journal published in the past 5 years have been cited in the Journal Citation Reports (an annual publication by a division of Thomson Reuters). The journals are ranked based on the number of incoming citations, with citations from a highly ranked journal contributing more to the ES, in contrast to any citation in a poorly ranked journal. The ES eventually assesses the importance of a specific journal a researcher by measuring the frequency of the content access from that journal. The ESs of a journal can be accessed from the website-eigenfactor.org. However, in contrast to the impact factor, the ES considers citations to journals in both the sciences and social sciences, and eliminates the problem of self-citations. 
Article influence score
This score measures the relative importance of the journal on a per-article basis. It is calculated by dividing the journal's ES with a fraction of articles published by the journal. In general, the mean article influence score (AIS) is one while score >1 or <1 means that each article in the journal has above-average and below-average influence respectively. 
Scimago journal rank indicator
Scimago journal rank indicator (SJR) is a journal quality indicator that uses scopus indexed journals for quality assessment. Although, for the computation, it employs a similar method as the ES and AIS, nevertheless, the period of consideration is 3 years. The SJR indicator is based on the Science Citation Index and is computed by employing the same formula that Thomson Reuters utilizes for calculating impact factor. ,
H-index is a useful index to characterize the scientific output of a researcher and takes into account factors like number of co-authors in an article, the average number of citations received by a scientist, etc. The applications of the H-index can also be expanded to a department or university or country. It has been recommended that the h-index should be used to complement or correct the traditional impact factor. 
Immediacy index refers to the total number of times an article is cited in the same year in which it is published. In other words, it indicates how quickly articles in a journal are cited. However, immediacy index is expected to be higher for the journals which have a number of issues, specialized journals with large number of researchers/practitioners; large specialty; many articles on the same topic in a single issue; selective journal self-citation; brief publication period; and in the case of review articles. 
The journals that are indexed in Elsevier, nowadays employ article-level metrics (ALMs), which is a new approach to quantify the reach and impact of published research. The ALMs not only assesses the data from sources like social media mentions, but even combines it with traditional measures like citations, to present a more comprehensive picture to judge an individual article.
| Conclusion|| |
In order to ascertain the quality of the journal, it is better to employ a combination of different scientific indices instead of over-reliance on a solitary index to avoid limitations of individual indices.
| References|| |
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