Skip to Main Content

University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

MedEd Research

Supports research and publication in Medical Education. Provides information and resources for MedEd Community of Practice.

Journal Impact

Understanding Impact Factor and Other Bibliometrics from the University Library's Scholarly Commons.

UIC also has an excellent page that explains various measures of journal impact.

Predatory Publishers

Predatory publishers take advantage of scholars for monetary gain without regard for quality or integrity. They make false claims and do not adhere to ethical business practices.

Things to consider

Quality and Reputation

  • Is the journal reputable? Trustworthy?
  • What subject areas or disciplines are covered?
  • What is the publication's reputation in the field?
  • Who is the audience?
  • Where is it indexed? Publish in journals indexed in PubMed whenever possible.

By the numbers

  • How long has the title been published?
  • What is the journal Impact Factor?
  • What is the frequency of publication and average number of articles published per issue?
  • What is their acceptance rate?


  • What is the peer review process?
  • What is the average length of time from submission to publication

"Where to Publish" Tools

Journal Evaluation Tool

SOURCE: Rele, Shilpa; Kennedy, Marie; and Blas, Nataly, "Journal Evaluation Tool" (2017). LMU Librarian
Publications & Presentations. 40.

How to use the journal evaluation tool
The journal evaluation tool includes two components, the rubric and the scoring sheet:
Step 1: Follow the criteria listed on the rubric. The criteria prompts you to look to the journal and
publisher web sites to determine if there are markers of credibility or any red flags.
Step 2: Look at the Rationale column on the scoring sheet to gauge the importance of each criterion.
Step 3: Categorize each criteria on the rubric into one of three categories: good (receiving a score of 3),
fair (a score of 2), or poor (a score of 1).
Step 4: Mark the score for each criterion on the scoring sheet.
Step 5: Determine the final score after you have completed the rubric.
Step 6: Use the Guide to Interpretation at the bottom of the scoring sheet to determine if the total score
suggests that the journal is likely a good, fair, or poor choice for publication.

How to find publications

Use Database Search - Search for your topic in an article database to see where related articles have been published.


  1. Go to Scopus and enter keywords describing your article or manuscript’s topic. Then click Search.
  2. TClick Analyze Results at the top of the results page.
  3. Click Source title to view a graph of the journal titles.
  4. You will now see a graph depicting the total number of articles published per year for your search query by journal title. Click on each journal title to view additional information including journal metrics

Ulrich's Periodicals Directory

Ulrich's Web is a global serial directory that publishes information about journals such as: publisher information, online availability, subject classifications, how often the serial is published, whether or not the journal is peer-reviewed, and much more. You can also browse article titles by issue for specific journals. This can be a quick way to get a sense of a more detailed sense of the journal's discipline and research focus. 

Ask Scholars in Your Field

Identifying professors and scholars in your discipline can be a valuable way to learn about journals. Use their expertise to get a better overall view of the publishing community in your research focus. If you can't find a scholar that specializes in your discipline, try contacting a subject-specific librarian here at the Library by finding your subject library

PubMed Central

Second-tier Journals