Does anyone know of a resource for reviews of academic journals?
March 19, 2004 6:35 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know of a resource that provides "reviews" of academic journals - summaries of the kind of articles they accept, biases they are prone to, and their impact rating? Specifically, in the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology. I'm putting together some papers to publish, but don't know the "optimal" places to send them!
posted by Jimbob to Writing & Language (10 answers total)
I thought that was generally the job of thesis advisors and faculty sponsors.
posted by jmgorman at 7:12 AM on March 19, 2004

Response by poster: It is, and my supervisor has given me some ideas - mainly regarding the journals he gets published in, which aren't necessarily the ones I'm aiming for. However, I'd like to see something more general, a "big picture", and independent.
posted by Jimbob at 7:19 AM on March 19, 2004

Response by poster: Also, I want to find out about some of the more obscure / topic-specific journals out there that I may not have otherwise encountered. For instance, I'm not a meteorologist, nor is my supervisor, but I have some research that may be suitable for publication in a journal in that field. Alas, my library doesn't have much in the way of journals on that topic for me to peruse.
posted by Jimbob at 7:44 AM on March 19, 2004

Nature. PNAS Biology.

Here's a list of meteorology journals; the location info is useless to you, but the list is not.

European Society for Evolutionary Biology's Journal of Evolutionary Biology. BMC Evolutionary Biology. Etc.
posted by The Michael The at 8:34 AM on March 19, 2004

Maybe if you hit up all the professional associations (or their sites) that cover your topics in all sorts of ways? Like here? (I bet there'd be person at one of them who really knows the field and can help)
posted by amberglow at 8:37 AM on March 19, 2004

This list might be a good place to start. Also, it appears that UC Santa Cruz has a whole page devoted to this. A few more resources: here, here, here, here, and most promising, here.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:47 AM on March 19, 2004

"Official" impact factors are published yearly by ISI, in their Journal Citation Reports. You may need a subscription to get in.
posted by shoos at 11:35 AM on March 19, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks, there's a lot to keep me busy there!
posted by Jimbob at 1:46 PM on March 19, 2004

I sent this to a friend of mine who's an academic, and he wrote this:

"As "jmgorman" suggests, it is the job of the advisor target a novice's publications to the correct journal. By this I mean that it is an important part if the advisor's role to actively submit the novice's manuscripts to editors, not just passively suggest the journals he/she publishes in. Since the type of journal that this person wants to publish in is not related to his advisor's field, I strongly suggest that the person seek out someone on campus who is in the field and get them to review their manuscripts. This surrogate mentor would be in the best position to advise the author on how
relevant the author's research is and which journal(s) are appropriate for
submission of the manuscripts.

From the way that the original metafilter message is written, it sounds like
someone who has some experience in publishing academic research is trying to
publish work outside of their field. If this is the case, I would say that
it is imperative that this person get someone in the field to read their
stuff before possibly embarrassing themselves in front of the editors of the
peer-reviewed journals of interest. That said, if someone is simply curious
about publication guidelines or is doing some preliminary research to
get-a-feel for the publication requirements in ecology and evolutionary
journals I would suggest checking them out online individually. To my
knowledge, there is no central clearing house that reviews general
publication policies for E&E themed journals. If there is, it would
probably be findable by googling for it.

At long last, I have some meager advice for identifying some appropriate
journals in E&E. Check out Trends in Ecology and Evolution, look for
articles that have a similar theme to your own work, and check the reference
sections of the papers for related journals. Tedious I know but probably
the quickest way to find lots of relevent and obscure journals. Below is a
list of some journals I frequent for articles on aquatic biology, genetics
and E&E, all are probably not of general E&E interest however. Hope this
helps; my apologies if I'm a bit long winded and preachy, the effects of my
morning coffee are winding down...



First/Second tier

Molecular Ecology
Conservation Biology
Environmental Biology of Fishes
Journal of Experimental Biology
Canadian Journal of Zoology

Newer/obscure/lower tier

Conservation Genetics
Animal Genetics
Functional Ecology
Restoration Ecology

Trends in Ecology and Evolution
Nature genetics
Annual Reviews

Good luck."
posted by interrobang at 5:03 PM on March 19, 2004

Can you find someone else at your institution who publishes in the area that you want to publish in, a 10 minute chat will likely give lots of clues as to whether you're likely to be accepted by a journal or turned down with barely a look. You may find their advice would be useful for further development. The problem with biases etc, is that many fields are so small that one individual will be putting themselves at some risk if they critique others in their field (even when they're pretty senior), thus its difficult to get info on the agenda for journals and their editorial boards through web reviews.
posted by biffa at 10:42 PM on March 19, 2004

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