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ME 241 - Fluids Lab

Journal Impact Factor

Impact Measurements & Tools

Metrics - Journal Level

  • Impact Factor (IF) -  The yearly average number of citations to recent articles published in that journal, calculated yearly starting from 1975 for journals listed in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR). It is commonly thought that the higher the impact factor the more important the journal is to be published in.
  • SJR - Another journal-level impact metrics that includes journal & country rank; includes more disciplines than JCR (JCR is heavily weighted towards STEM).

Metrics - Author Level

  • H-Index - A scholar with an index of h has published papers each of which has been cited in other papers at least h times
  • Altmetric - Tracks where published research is mentioned online in a number of venues including Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Mendeley, blog posts, etc.
  • Impact Story - Similar to altmetrics, however includes datasets and software


Checklist for Assessing Publishers and Journals

Contact your department's Library Liaison for a second (or first) opinion about the authenticity of a publisher or journal. We're happy to help authors identify reliable, quality scholarly publishing venues. 

Use the following checklist, provided by Declan Butler in Nature, as a guide for assessing publishers and journals:
How to perform due diligence before submitting to a journal or publisher.

  • Check that the publisher provides full, verifiable contact information, including address, on the journal site. Be cautious of those that provide only web contact forms.
  • Check that a journal's editorial board lists recognized experts with full affiliations. Contact some of them and ask about their experience with the journal or publisher (use the link to UlrichsWeb above to find publisher contact information).
  • Check that the journal prominently displays its policy for author fees.
  • Be wary of e-mail invitations to submit to journals or to become editorial board members.
  • Read some of the journal's published articles and assess their quality. Contact past authors to ask about their experience. 
  • Check that a journal's peer-review process is clearly described and try to confirm that a claimed impact factor is correct.
  • Find out whether the journal is a member of an industry association that vets its members, such as the Directory of Open Access Journals ( or the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association ( [Some questionable journals appear in directories such as DOAJ and Cabell's; we don't advise using this as your sole criteria.]
  • Use common sense, as you would when shopping online: if something looks fishy, proceed with caution.

Articles and other resources on predatory publishers: