In one of the first classes attended we briefly talked about the impact factor that some journals have. Commonly known as IF, the impact factor is calculated based on the average number of journal articles that have been cited in other scholarly work in the last several years. After a quick Google search, I discovered that the IF is calculated by one of the world’s largest publishers: Thomson Reuters.
It was my lucky day when I discovered SJR SCIImago Journal and Country Rank (http://www.scimagojr.com/index.php). I felt like a kid in a sandbox as I began playing with the various search functions.
The search for education journals revealed the top 619 journals in the world. I could also sort by country, and I found that Canada has 11 top journals. If you’re wondering, the top Canadian education journal is the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, while the world leader is the Review of Educational Research.
With that information I can easily go into the UVic library and type in the names of the top journals in the search criteria. Instead of looking for specific articles, I can frequent the journals that are of particular interest to my field of study. Of course these rankings tend not include open journals, so my next search will be to find a database similar to this one where open journals are ranked.
It’s important, though, to keep in mind that all rankings should be taken with a grain of salt. Just because hundreds of other scholars have cited particular journals, each article must be critically analyzed through the lens of research to ensure that the methodology, results, and findings are not misleading. That is the responsibility of every reader, no matter the ranking or if it is an open journal.