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Collection Analysis

What is journal "quality" and why do we care about it?

When researchers write journal articles or other forms of scholarly communication, they typically cite the articles or other forms of scholarly communication that helped inform their research. Journals can be distinguished, analyzed, rated, and ranked based on whether and how much the articles they contain have been cited. When we talk about journal quality, we are most often talking about whether the journal is cited much, and therefore also how highly it is rated and ranked. The best tools to investigate journal quality are proprietary and very expensive. At Mankato, we do not divert any funding to purchase these tools because our priority is to maximize support for the curriculum directly -- to provide resources students will use to complete their assignments and research. Nevertheless, it is very important to analyze the journal collection in terms of journal quality, to ensure our faculty and student researchers have access to the most "impactful," most cited research -- and accreditors pay close attention to this aspect of the collection. Fortunately, we have been able to use free tools for the past many years. See below for information about what's available to us.

We should also note that citation practices vary tremendously across fields, so it is mostly meaningless to compare journals across fields. In the CPBI, we provide the means to filter by subject and we provide two contexts for journal comparison, "universal" and subject based. Within a broad field, individual journals might have more or less specialized audiences, so the scope of journals can be a factor, too. Although quality matters, sometimes very much, it is important to avoid being too pedantic about the quality or prestige of journals. What matters most is to have the right journals for the right purposes.

Free Providers of Journal Quality Information

Only free providers are included here. Providers of journal lists are highlighted at the top. Several of the journal lookup providers also provide an API, but let's be honest, that can be a pain for many folks, especially if you have other work to do.

Journal Lists - Universal/ Any-Discipline

Journal Lists - Limited/ Subject Focused

Subject Indexes and Databases also typically include a journal list and some quality indicators. These can be very useful to prepare subject specific reports for program evaluation.

Generate Journal Lists

Journal Lookup - Universal/ Any-Discipline

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