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Guide to Publishing: Publication channel rankings


Kuvahaun tulos haulle vertaisarviointitunnus

Finnish peer-reviewed publications increasingly use the peer-reviewed -label. More information on the label and publications with the right of using it  on the webpage of the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies.



Think and Check!

Think. Check. Submit. helps researchers identify trusted journals and publishers for their research. Through a range of tools and practical resources, this international, cross-sector initiative aims to educate researchers, promote integrity, and build trust in credible research and publications.

Think. Check. Attend. is an initiative that aims to guide and assist researchers and scholars to judge the legitimacy and academic credentials of conferences in order to help them decide whether to or not attend the same. Nowadays, the scholarly community faces an increasing number of invitations to present at or attend conferences. Some of these are respectable, academic events, while others are misleading, exaggerated or even fake. Think. Check. Attend. provides guidelines that help researchers to differentiate between an authentic conference and the one they should avoid.

Some journal ranking indicators

 Impact factor

Impact factor was originally developed for comparing journals and it is oldest and most used impact indicator. IF values are available from Journal Citations Report database, covering journals included in the Web of Science and updated yearly.

Basic formula for calculating an impact factor is as follows:

The impact factor of a journal is calculated by dividing the number of current year citations to the source items published in that journal during the previous two years.

Journal Impact Factor has many limitations. It is suggested that it can be used to complement expert opinion but it should not be used to measure individual researcher, institutions or articles. Limitations include

  • Impact factors between different disciplines are not comparable
  • Impact factor favors disciplines with rapid publishing intervall and it best suits to natural and medical sciences
  • Journals publishing review articles tend to have higher IF values
  • Journals publishing a lot tend to have higher IF values. Also discipline journals most likely have more citations than field-specific journals and thus have higher IF values
  • IF values only take into account references from journals included in the JCR database, leaving out monographs and other journals.
  • You might want to favor 5 year impact factor values over 2 years impact factor values

H-index in journal rankings

  • H-index is a metric that measures both the productivity and citation impact. H-index for journals is calculated by comparing the number of articles in the journal to the citations they have received.
  • Journals h-index is h if h amount of articles published in the journal have each received atleast h citations and the rest have received less than h citations.
  • In evaluating journals h-index is usually calculated using a certain time-frame, f.ex a year.
  • Singel articles receiving vast amount of citations do not affect h-index
  • comparable only within a discipline
  • Journals publishing a lot tend to have higher h-index
  • h-index is also used to measure researchers cumulative and relative quality.
  • h-index is availble for example in these services:

 Eigenfactor Score ja Article Influence Score

  • Eigenfactor metrics consists of two distinct indicators: Eigenfactor score and Article Influence score (AI).
  • Aims to take into account differences between scientific disciplines in the use and accumulation of citations.
  • Weighs citations based on prestige and impact of the citing journal.
  • Citations calculated on a 5 year span, journal self-citations disregarded. Citation data usually from Journal Citation Reports database.
  • Can be calculated for books, thesis etc.
  • Available from Journal Citations Reports or from Eigenfactor website.
  • Eigenfactor Score: If the eigen factor Score of a journal is 0.95, it means that the journal receives 0.95% of all citations included in the JCR database.
  • Article influence score: Average impact of an article published in a journal. If the journal has a AI-value of 2.51, the articles published in the journal have 2.5 times more impact than the average article included in the JCR database.

 SCImago Journal Rank (SJR)

  • Measures journal impact based on scientific discipline, quality and reputation.
  • Weighs the value of the citations based on the SJR-value of the citing journal.
  • Calculated from 3 year span.
  • Journal self-citations lower the SJR-value.
  • Is calculated from Elsevier´s Scopus database. SJR is available from Scopus or from SCImago Journa & Country rank -webpage.

 Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP)

  • Measures journal impact and takes into account citation practices and publishing features of different disciplines.
  • Calculated from 3 year span.
  • Is calculated from Elsevier´s Scopus database. SNIP is available from Scopus or from CWTS Journal indicators webpage.

 SJR ja SNIP in comparison:

  • SJR suits disciplines with rapid publication intervals and a clear group of core journals. SNIP is better suited to more dispersed disciplines where journals are not necessarily the main publication outlets.
  • SJR values are the highest in biosciences and medical sciences, meaning that prestigious journals are highlighted and finds greater differences between journals. The highest SNIP values are in engineering and social sciences.
  • SNIP values of small and multidiscipline journals should be regarded with caution, as the values may have high yearly variation.



  • Publication forum is a publication channel rating and classification system produced by the finnish scientific community, meant to support research quality assessment.
  • Classification consists of 3 levels, journals are assigned a level by Publication forum Panels.
  • 1=basic level; 2=leading level; 3=highest level
    • Evaluated channels not up to level 1 criteria are assigned to class 0.
    • The publication is under evaluation if no class is assigned.
  • Classification is used since 2015 by the Ministry of Education in it´s funding model to indicate quality of scientific publications produced universities.
  • The assigned level indicates the average quality of articles published in a journal, meaning that the classification should be used only to assess large publication bodies. The classification is not suited to the evaluation of merits of a single researcher, nor can it substitute assessment conducted by experts in the field for example in a recruiting situation.

What are predatory publishers?

The flipside of open access publishing are "predatory" open access publishers take take advantage of open access business models based on article processing charges or other author fees.

These publishers operate on pay-to-publish model where there are no actual peer-review processes or editorial processes in place, even though the publisher may claim to adhere to principles of scientific publishing and peer-review. In practice, anything get´s published if the usually quite low cost APC is paid.

The publishers or journals can adopt a misleading name and title, imitating or copying reputable and prestigious journals. Journal titles and aims and scope can also be all-encompassing.

When a journal or publishers contacts you by email solicitating manuscript submissions based on your conference presentation or previous research article, pay attention to style and language, who is the undersigned, what is the email address where the message came from. Usually predatory publishers are quickly spotted, but some can be quite convincing, and it might be a good idea to search some more information about the publisher and journal in question.

Is the journal website professional? Is the information there correct? Do the articles they have previously publish demonstrate good editorial standards?

You can contact Haaga-Helia library if you need a second opinion on any offers to publish you may get.

Saavutettavuusseloste / Accessibility Statement