Research Tools - Spring 2013

Online Tools Give Publishing Information for Scholarly Journals

The proliferation of academic scholarly journals has increased steadily during the past 20 years. Virtually all subject specialties and scholarly societies publish monthly, quarterly or biannual journals that allow faculty members to inform their peers about their research. Although a majority of writers often focus on two or three of the main journals in their field of expertise, there are many titles that can provide a similar venue for publication. Faculty who are seeking an appropriate journal for publishing their research studies often question how they can adequately discern which of the many scholarly sources currently published would be best suited for their articles. And faculty who serve on the Board on Rank and Tenure ask similar questions when evaluating the publication record of candidates, especially those in disciplines unfamiliar to them.
The Weinberg Library has a number of tools that can assist both categories of faculty in their search to determine the quality of scholarly journals. Two online sources, available through our A-Z database listing, are excellent starting points. Ulrichsweb is an online database that provides a comprehensive listing of more than 300,000 periodicals published domestically and internationally, even those that have ceased publication. Each listing provides a link to the journal's website and gives essential information such as cost, name and address of editor, indexing and abstracting, number of paid subscriptions, and all essential information regarding content. Ulrichsweb consistently notes the refereed status of a journal and states if the publication will accept unsolicited articles. Users can also search by subject or keyword, so if you want to expand your potential target journals, you can see what other titles publish in your field.
Cabell's Directories of Publishing Opportunities is the second online tool that helps writers to select a potential source for their research. Although this source has limited subject coverage, faculty in the business, computer science, education, nursing and psychology fields have found the information invaluable when selecting a journal for publication. Also available through our A-Z database listing and accessible from on and off campus, Cabell's includes all information found in the Ulrich's listing. But unique to this source is the listing of acceptance rates, number of peer reviewers, and turn-around time for notification of acceptance for publication.
Several citation databases now include journal impact information when searching by a specific topic. You will find that Science Direct and Sage Journals provide the searcher with information that shows who has cited your article in subsequent books or articles; they also allow you to set up an alert that informs you when your article has been cited. Taylor and Francis, still another database, has an option that lets you see how many times your article has been viewed. The demand for qualitative information about journals should eventually drive other databases to add these helpful features. Expect more enhancements in citation databases as technology improves. And please feel free to contact the Reference Desk for help in using any of our services.

Betsey Moylan

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