A Method for Comparing Scholarly Journals as Service Providers to Authors

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http://hdl.handle.net/10227/549

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Serials Review, June 2009, Vol. 35, Iss. 2, pp. 62-69

Title: A Method for Comparing Scholarly Journals as Service Providers to Authors
Author: Björk, Bo-Christer; Öörni, Anssi
Abstract: When authors of scholarly articles decide where to submit their manuscripts for peer review and eventual publication, they often base their choice of journals on very incomplete information abouthow well the journals serve the authors’ purposes of informing about their research and advancing their academic careers. The purpose of this study was to develop and test a new method for benchmarking scientific journals, providing more information to prospective authors. The method estimates a number of journal parameters, including readership, scientific prestige, time from submission to publication, acceptance rate and service provided by the journal during the review and publication process. Data directly obtainable from the web, data that can be calculated from such data, data obtained from publishers and editors, and data obtained using surveys with authors are used in the method, which has been tested on three different sets of journals, each from a different discipline. We found a number of problems with the different data acquisition methods, which limit the extent to which the method can be used. Publishers and editors are reluctant to disclose important information they have at hand (i.e. journal circulation, web downloads, acceptance rate). The calculation of some important parameters (for instance average time from submission to publication, regional spread of authorship) can be done but requires quite a lot of work. It can be difficult to get reasonable response rates to surveys with authors. All in all we believe that the method we propose, taking a “service to authors” perspective as a basis for benchmarking scientific journals, is useful and can provide information that is valuable to prospective authors in selected scientific disciplines.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10227/549
Date: 2009
Subject: e-business
scientific publishing


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