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If you are not able to find/open the article that you are looking for:

1.) Search for the journal in Hanna. Can you find it? Is it available electronically or in print? Is it available for the year/number where the article was published in?

2.) Google for the article. Sometimes it is available in full text somewhere else. It is a good idea to google just the title of the article (do not include vol and no).

3.) Contact the library: We might be able to find the article or order it for you.

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How to read a scholarly journal article

Journal assessment

There are many factors that you need to consider when assessing the quality of a journal:

  • The journal's general information:

How are the journal’s circulation and coverage? How frequently is it published? How fast is an article from submission to publication? What are the journal’s acceptance/rejection rates?

The information can be found on the journal’s or publisher’s website. Some journals have "received" and "accepted" dates on the first page of their articles. You can also check JournalGuide which provides the general information of a journal and aims to give authors a simple way to choose the suitable journal for your research.

  • Journals' categories:

Journals are categorized as follows according to the Ministry of Education and Culture:

  1. Peer-reviewed scientific journal: Journals with Publication Forum rating level 1-3 or other scientific journals with peer review,
  2. Non-refereed scientific journal,
  3. Trade journal,
  4. Popularised journal and newspaper

See Publication data collection instructions for researchers 2019 (Julkaisutiedonkeruun ohjeistus tutkijoille 2019).

  • Journal ranking indicators:

Which databases index the journal? For example, is it indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus? And what impact factors or citation analysis does the journal have in Web of Science and/or Scopus? How is the journal rated according to the Publication Forum (Julkaisufoorumi, Jufo) and/or Academic Journal Guide (AJG)?

See the following sections on Journal ranking indicators (for example, Journal impact factor (JIF), Publication Forum (Jufo), Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP), and Academic Journal Guide (AJG) below).

  • Is the journal refereed (peer-reviewed)?

Peer analysis is a high-quality control measure of research before publication in a journal. UlrichsWeb contains general information about journals. You can check UlrichsWeb to get the information if an article in a journal undergoes peer review before publishing. If the line “Refereed” is indicated with “Yes” on the journal information page in UlrichsWeb, it means that the journal uses peer reviewers in the publication process.

  • Is a journal open access? Are you allowed to self-archive your article in Haris/DHanken?

Sherpa/Romeo provides information about what publishing rights authors have with a large number of journals. Read more about open access and self-archiving.

  • Refrain from submitting to predatory or pseudo journals and evaluate the integrity and reputation of the publication channel.

Predatory publishing is an exploitive academic publishing business model that involves charging publication fees to authors without checking articles’ quality and legitimacy and without providing other editorial and publishing services that legitimate academic journals provide, whether open access or not.

You can check JournalGuide to see if your target journal is in the JournalGuide whitelist of reputable titles. You can also check List of Predatory Journals. But note that “[t]he alarming increase in the number of predatory journals (from 1,800 to 8,000 over the period 2010–4) and the exponential growth (from 53,000 to 420,000 between 2010 and 2014) of the articles that they publish (Shen and Björk 2015) have rendered futile any effort to keep white and blacklists updated” (M Ángeles Oviedo-García. 2021. Journal citation reports and the definition of a predatory journal: The case of the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI). Research Evaluation, 1-15. 

The Peer Review Process