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Academic journal

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Title: Academic journal  
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Subject: Academic publishing, Peer review, WikiProject Academic Journals, Scientific journal, Open access
Collection: Academic Journals, Academic Publishing, Peer Review, Scholarly Communication, Technical Communication
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Academic journal

Different types of peer-reviewed research journals; these specific publications are about economics

An academic or scholarly journal is a peer-reviewed or refereed periodical in which scholarship relating to a particular academic discipline is published. Academic journals serve as forums for the introduction and presentation for scrutiny of new research, and the critique of existing research.[1] Content typically takes the form of articles presenting original research, review articles, and book reviews. The purpose of an academic journal, according to the first editor of the world's oldest academic journal Henry Oldenburg, is to give researchers a venue to "impart their knowledge to one another, and contribute what they can to the Grand design of improving natural knowledge, and perfecting all Philosophical Arts, and Sciences."[2]

The term academic journal applies to scholarly publications in all fields; this article discusses the aspects common to all academic field journals. Scientific journals and journals of the quantitative social sciences vary in form and function from journals of the humanities and qualitative social sciences; their specific aspects are separately discussed.


Scholarly articles

There are two kinds of article or paper submissions in academia: solicited, where an individual has been invited to submit work either through direct contact or through a general submissions call, and unsolicited, where an individual submits a work for potential publication without directly being asked to do so.[3] Upon receipt of a submitted article, editors at the journal determine whether to reject the submission outright or begin the process of peer review. In the latter case, the submission becomes subject to review by outside scholars of the editor's choosing who typically remain anonymous. The number of these peer reviewers (or "referees") varies according to each journal's editorial practice — typically, no fewer than two, though sometimes three or more, experts in the subject matter of the article produce reports upon the content, style, and other factors, which inform the editors' publication decisions. Though these reports are generally confidential, some journals and publishers also practice public peer review. The editors either choose to reject the article, ask for a revision and resubmission, or accept the article for publication. Even accepted articles are often subjected to further (sometimes considerable) editing by journal editorial staff before they appear in print. The peer review can take from several weeks to several months.[4]


Review articles

Review articles, also called "reviews of progress," are checks on the research published in journals. Some journals are devoted entirely to review articles, some contain a few in each issue, and others do not publish review articles. Such reviews often cover the research from the preceding year, some for longer or shorter terms; some are devoted to specific topics, some to general surveys. Some journals are enumerative, listing all significant articles in a given subject, others are selective, including only what they think worthwhile. Yet others are evaluative, judging the state of progress in the subject field. Some journals are published in series, each covering a complete subject field year, or covering specific fields through several years. Unlike original research articles, review articles tend to be solicited submissions, sometimes planned years in advance. They are typically relied upon by students beginning a study in a given field, or for current awareness of those already in the field.[5]

Book reviews

Reviews of scholarly books are checks upon the research books published by scholars; unlike articles, book reviews tend to be solicited. Journals typically have a separate book review editor determining which new books to review and by whom. If an outside scholar accepts the book review editor's request for a book review, he or she generally receives a free copy of the book from the journal in exchange for a timely review. Publishers send books to book review editors in the hope that their books will be reviewed. The length and depth of research book reviews varies much from journal to journal, as does the extent of textbook and trade book review.[6]

Prestige and ranking

An academic journal's prestige is established over time, and can reflect many factors, some but not all of which are expressible quantitatively. In each academic discipline there are dominant journals that receive the largest number of submissions, and therefore can be selective in choosing their content. Yet, not only the largest journals are of excellent quality.[7]

In the natural sciences and in the "hard" social sciences, the impact factor is a convenient proxy, measuring the number of later articles citing articles already published in the journal. There are other, possible quantitative factors, such as the overall number of citations, how quickly articles are cited, and the average "half-life" of articles. There also is the question of whether or not any quantitative factor can reflect true prestige; natural science journals are categorized and ranked in the Science Citation Index, social science journals in the Social Sciences Citation Index.[7]

In the

  • ERIH 'Initial' lists, European Science Foundation
  • JournalSeek - A Searchable Database of Online Scholarly Journals
  • Master Journal List (Thomson Reuters), a list of selected, and notable academic journals in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences.
  • Links to electronic journals
  • JURN directory of Arts & Humanities ejournals
  • Academic Journals: What are They? and Academic Journals Compared to Magazines. Academic Writing. Dennis G. Jerz. Seton Hill University. 2001-08-2001.
  • Peer reviewed articles. San Diego State University.

External links

  • Bakkalbasi, N; Bauer, K; Glover, J; Wang, L (2006). "Three options for citation tracking: Google Scholar, Scopus and Web of Science".  
  • Lowry, P.B.; LaMarc Humpherys, S.; Malwitz, J.; Nix, J. (2007). "A scientometric study of the perceived quality of business and technical communication journals".  
  • Waller, A.C. (2001). Editorial Peer Review Its Strengths and Weaknesses. ASIST monograph series.  
  • Serenko, Alexander; Jiao, C. (2011). "Investigating information systems research in Canada" (PDF).  

Further reading

  1. ^ Gary Blake; Robert W. Bly (1993). The Elements of Technical Writing.  
  2. ^ The Royal Society: Royal Society journal archive made permanently free to access, 26 October 2011.
  3. ^ Gwen Meyer Gregory (2005). The successful academic librarian: Winning strategies from library leaders.  
  4. ^ Michèle Lamont (2009). How professors think: Inside the curious world of academic judgment.  
  5. ^ Deborah E. De Lange (2011). Research Companion to Green International Management Studies: A Guide for Future Research, Collaboration and Review Writing.  
  6. ^ Rita James Simon; Linda Mahan (1969). "A Note on the Role of Book Review Editor as Decision Maker".  
  7. ^ a b c Rowena Murray (2009). Writing for Academic Journals (2nd ed.).  
  8. ^ "Journals under threat". 
  9. ^ Pontille D., Torny D., "The controversial policies of journal ratings: evaluating social sciences and humanities", Research Evaluation, 19(5), 347-360, 2010
  10. ^ Nick Bontis; Alexander Serenko (2009). "A follow-up ranking of academic journals".  
  11. ^ Paul Benjamin Lowry; Sean LaMarc Humpherys; Jason Malwitz; Joshua Nix (2007). "A scientometric study of the perceived quality of business and technical communication journals".  
  12. ^ Alexander Serenko; Changquan Jiao (2011). "Investigating Information Systems Research in Canada" (PDF).  
  13. ^ Theodore C. Bergstrom (2001). "Free Labor for Costly Journals?".  
  14. ^ Robert A. Day; Barbara Gastel (2011). How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper (7th ed.).  
  15. ^ James Hendler (2007). "Reinventing Academic Publishing-Part 1".  
  16. ^ Kolata, Gina (April 7, 2013). "Scientific Articles Accepted (Personal Checks, Too)". New York Times. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 


See also

The open access movement has also raised concern that there may be an increase in publication of "junk" journals with lower publishing standards. These journals, often with names chosen as similar to well-established publications, solicit articles via e-mail and then charge the author to publish an article. A research librarian at the University of Colorado has compiled a list of what he considers to be "predatory" journals; the list numbered over 300 journals as of April 2013, but he estimates that there may be thousands.[16] The OMICS Publishing Group, which publishes a number of the journals on this list, has threatened to sue the librarian who developed the list.

The Internet has revolutionized the production of, and access to, academic journals, with their contents available online via services subscribed to by academic libraries. Individual articles are subject-indexed in databases such as Google Scholar. Some of the smallest, most specialized journals are prepared in-house, by an academic department, and published only online—such form of publication has sometimes been in the blog format. Currently, there is a movement in higher education encouraging open access, either via self archiving, whereby the author deposits a paper in a disciplinary or institutional repository where it can be searched for and read, or via publishing it in a free open access journal, which does not charge for subscriptions, being either subsidized or financed by a publication fee. Given the goal of sharing scientific research to speed advances, open access has affected science journals more than humanities journals. Commercial publishers are experimenting with open access models, but are trying to protect their subscription revenues.[15]

New developments

Journal editors tend to have other professional responsibilities, most often as teaching professors. In the case of the largest journals, there are paid staff assisting in the editing. The production of the journals is almost always done by publisher-paid staff. Humanities and social science academic journals are usually subsidized by universities or professional organization.[14]

[13] Many academic journals are


  • stated preference;
  • revealed preference; and
  • publication power approaches[12]

Three categories of techniques have developed to assess journal quality and create journal rankings:[11]

The categorization of journal prestige in some subjects has been attempted, typically using letters to rank their academic world importance.

In some disciplines such as impact factor calculations as inimical to the goals of science, and have signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment to limit its use.


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