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CHEM 3001: Capstone 2

Evaluate a Scientific Article

Where is the source coming from: How to Determine if a journal is "good"

How do I know if a journal is important and respected in its field?

Most scholars and professors are familiar with the top journals in their fields but as a beginning researcher it is hard to know which journals are important.  To find respected journals in a field, try the following:

  • Look for journals from professional associations, for example: journals from the American Chemical Society. 
  • Ask your professor which journals are well respected in his or her field.  
  • Another criteria to use is a journal's impact factor.  For more about what impact factors are, see below.  

Impact Factor

Impact factor measures the number of articles cited from a journal in a particular year.  The assumption is that a journal which has many articles cited in other research is a journal in which important or highly valued research is being published.  

The impact factor is just one way to measure the importance of a journal and some scholars feel too much weight has been given to this measurement.  Use cautiously and in conjunction with other measurements.  

There are two algorithms for measuring impact Factor ISI's Impact Factor and the Eigenfactor.  Both can be found utilizing the Journal Citation Reports from Thomson Reuters in the Web of Science.    

For more on various impact factors, go to :