Determining Which Journals Are Significant in Your Field

In every field or discipline, there are journals that scholars consider prestigious and influential. There are a few ways to find these journals in your field.

  • Ask your professors and other scholars in your field which journals they respect and would recommend you use for your research.
  • Pay attention to your class readings. Which journals have published the supplemental or recommended readings that are listed in your course syllabi?
  • Notice journals whose titles appear repeatedly in your research. This could indicate that these journals are influential.
  • Ask your subject librarian for a recommendation. Librarians are often familiar with the scholarly journals in their fields and can help you assess a journal.
  • Use a scholarly journal metric to get a general overview of a journal's ranking within a discipline. Metrics are based on the average citations a journal receives per article. Some scholars criticize these metrics because too much value is often placed on them. The University of Nevada, Reno Libraries recommend using them only in conjunction with the other suggested steps. Some journal metrics include the Journal Impact Factor (you will need to sign in with your NetID if not on campus), SCImago’s Journal Rank indicator, and the Eigenfactor.  You will notice that because of differences in each of their methodologies, these journal metrics rank journals differently from each other. For more information on journal metrics, see Scholarly Metrics and Altmetrics.