Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Assessing Journals & Publishers

A guide focused on assessing journals and book publishers for publication

Basic Overview

This guide is most useful for faculty wanting to get a sense of where to publish. You will find information on journal citation metrics, serials directories, other tools and information sources that can be used to assess publishers.

Students may also use this guide to help determine the scholarly qualities of a journal article.

What are the typical steps to assessing the impact and quality a publication?

  1. What is the quality of the journal? (Journal Impact Factors)
  2. What is the quality of the publisher? (Contacting Publishers)
  3. How many times has an item been cited? (Citation Analysis)
  4. What do reviews say? (Finding Book Reviews)

Issues to keep in mind

Scholarly metrics can be a subjective issue. This is also an area that is constantly evolving as new ways of measuring impact and quality are developed. Some metrics used in the past are no longer as accurate or as useful as they once were.

Please keep this in mind:

  1. Circulation information on journals is highly suspect. Traditional circulation counts only included the print journal or individual online subscriptions. Most journal subscriptions through libraries and universities are done through journal bundling. There is no way to accurately know how widely circulated a journal is.
  2. It's difficult to assess how many university libraries own a copy of a book. Not all libraries use WorldCat or OCLC to make their catalog collection easily searchable.
  3. Different disciplines have different impact/quality criteria. Focus on the Significance and Selectivity of a publisher when searching for the proper journal to publish in.

Getting Help

Contact your library liaison for any questions or for help. Check here for the updated library liaison list.


Colgate University Libraries | 13 Oak Drive, Hamilton, NY 13346 | 315-228-7300