Choosing a publication channel

Characteristics of quality journals

Characteristics of a quality journal are for example:

  • high standards for acceptance of manuscripts
  • peer review system
  • high frequency of citations by other journals
  • coverage by major abstracting and indexing services
  • high confidence level of scientists in the contents

Journal evaluation methods

Journal evaluation is a complex task. The quality of a journal can be evaluated for different reasons and by using different methods, and for this reason different evaluations often offer differing results.

Questions and concerns about open access

Journal evaluation tools

Guide to evaluation based on scientific publishing : Evaluating journals


Scopus Journal Metrics

Scopus Metrics contains indicators for evaluation of journals and serials. Based on Scopus data. Freely available. 

Peer review

Peer review is considered a ‘quality stamp’ for an article published in a scientific journal or on an online scientific platform.

Pre-publication peer review is usually carried out by two or more researchers who evaluate the manuscript submitted to the journal. The evaluators are selected by the journal editor and they are experts in the field of the manuscript. In the evaluation attention is paid e.g. on the phrasing of the research questions, the research and statistical methods used and the interpretation of the results. At present, pre-publication peer review is the prevailing practice in most scientific journals.

Some journals and platforms allow readers to comment on published articles on their websites. This is called post-publication peer review. For example PLoS –journals, PubPeer and F1000research offer this possibility.

Peer review is widely accepted as a criterion of high quality science. However, the system has been strongly criticized due to its subjective nature. In pre-publication peer review the evaluation is anonymous, i.e. the names of the reviewers are usually hidden from the authors of the manuscripts and from the public. This may have a negative effect on the quality of the evaluations and may lead to unfounded rejections even in highly esteemed journals. In recent years there have been some innovative initiatives to increase the quality and openness of pre-publication peer review (e.g. Peerage of Science).

How to check if the journal is peer-reviewed?

If you cannot find information about a journal's peer review policy elsewhere, it is advisable to search the journal's and/or publisher's website or contact the editorial office by email.