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Library services & resources for Post Graduate Research students: Publishing your research

Evaluating the quality of journals

As an academic, publishing research is key to furthering developments within your discipline and career. Open Access with its aim of making research freely available has aided researchers in making content more widely available.  Via the Gold route authors pay for their articles to be available open access on publication as a means of protecting the publisher's profits. With the open access movement there has been a growth in the number of journals and it can be hard to evaluate the credentials of some titles.

You will want to choose the best journal for your research so it is important to spend time evaluating any journal. 

Evaluating journals

There are a number of useful tools to help you evaluate the quality of journals:



A directory of open access journals 
DOAJ reviews the quality of the journals it lists so can be a useful   indication of if a journal is likely to be reputable. 



When accessing a journal's quality look to see if it is a member of 
OASPA as membership includes a set of standards. (Remember that newer journals won't be included so can't be evaluated this way). 


Suncat is the Serials Union Catalogue for the UK research community. Search the catalogue of 110 UK institutions to see which university if any subscribe to a particular title. 

New researchers

 As a new researcher you will be conscious of the importance of publishing your work. Less well known journals may target new researchers keen to get published by emailing them offering to publish their thesis or asking for articles. Like emails asking for your bank details to transfer money into your account be wary of taking the offer at face value. 

Be aware that some journals will charge you a fee for publishing. Remember too that you will probably sign away your copyright preventing you from publishing your research with a more established publisher in future.