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Higher Education: Peer-review & Journal Rankings

Peer-review and Impact Factors


What is peer-review:
~  It functions as a filter for content
~  Content has been critically evaluated by other experts in the field
~  Contain citations (footnotes and/or bibliography) documenting sources

Possible drawbacks:
~  Reviewers can have their own biases
~  The length of time it takes for an article to go through the process means the data can be years old by the time it is published
~  May not identify errors in research

Journal Impact Factors

There are a number of ways the relative importance of journals are ranked.  They are also calculated differently. 
Citation and article counts are a couple of indicators of how frequently current researchers are using individual journals. 

"You should not depend solely on citation data in your journal evaluations. Citation data are not meant to replace informed peer review. Careful attention should be paid to the many conditions that can influence citation rates such as language, journal history and format, publication schedule, and subject specialty." JCR

For more details about impact factors:

Publisher websites:
~  Search a journal name in google.  "Journal of Higher Education"   From the search results you may be able to navigate to a page that provides journal metrics.


UlrichWeb Serials DirectoryIs a database you can access via the library.  It provides a variety of information about journals. It does not include rankings. 


IMC Librarian

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Margaret Gregor