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Publishing: Evaluating Sources

Evaluating Sources of Information

Choose your sources carefully.  They reflect you and your research efforts.  Consider the following:


Is the author / publisher / sponsor of the information reputable?

Where did the author get the information?

Are there references, citations, and / or a bibliography included with the information?

Has the information provided been frequently cited by others?


Is the information provided accurate?

Can the information provided be verified elsewhere?


When was the information published?

Are you using the most up-to-date version of the information?


Why does this information exist?  Entertain, persuade, inform, other?

Is the information biased?


Is the information understandable, logical, consistent?


Is the information provided in enough depth and detail for your project?


Is the information relevant to your project?

Does the information support your project?


Who is the intended reader and/or user of the information?

Student, professional, consumer, customer, other?

Peer Reviewed Articles

A peer reviewed article is a scholarly document that has been submitted to an external publisher. The publisher internally reviewed the article and agreed that it has merit. The publisher sent the article without identifying the author(s) to known subject matter experts, around the world, in the field for the information covered in the article. The subject matter experts reviewed the article to ensure that it is accurate, reliable, worthy, and properly presented. The subject matter experts provided critical feedback to the publisher about the article. The publisher reviewed the feedback and deemed that the article still has merit. The publisher forwarded the comments to the author(s) and requested any changes. The author(s) acted upon the feedback and re-submitted the revised article to the publisher. The review cycle may be repeated a few times until both the publisher and the author(s) are satisfied. The publisher publishes the peer reviewed article with the names of the author(s) on it.

Measuring Impact

Web of Science - An abstract search database by Clarivate Analytics (formerly Thompson Reuters) for Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE: 1900-present), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI: 1900-present), and Arts & Humanities Citation Index (1975-present). A basic search for an author will reveal the number of times a citation has been cited and an author's H Index. Journal Impact Factors journals included in the Web of Science are reported in the Scientific Journal Ranking.  

  • H-index is a metric used to compare the productivity and citation impact of scientists working in the same department, institution, country, field, and/or scholarly journal in a single number. The definition of the index is that an author with an index of h has published h papers each of which has been cited in other papers at least h times. Thus, the h-index reflects both the number of publications and the number of citations per publication as posted in the Web of Science or Google Scholar. If a researcher publishes an article in a journal that is not indexed by Web of Science, the article as well as any citations to it will not be included in the h-Index calculation. The h-index does not work well when comparing early career scientists or scientists in different fields. It is designed to improve upon simpler metrics, such as the total number of citations or publications.
    • h-index = number of papers (h) with a citation number ≥ h.
    • Example: a scientist with an h-index of 9 has 9 papers cited at least 9 times.
  • Journal Impact Factor score is an indicator to identify the most influential journals in a specific filed of research. It is a measure of the average impact of original research articles and review articles appearing in the same journal. It is calculated by dividing the number of citations to all items published in the journal in the previous two years by the number of articles and reviews published in the same journal in the same previous two years


Google Scholar Metrics - Google Scholar Metrics provides a metric to compare the visibility and influence of recent articles in scholarly publications. It summarizes recent citations to many publications to help authors as they consider where to publish their new research.

  • H5-index is the h-index for articles published in the last 5 complete years. It is the largest number h such that h articles published in 2013-2017 have at least h citations each.
  • H5-median for a publication is the median number of citations for the articles that make up its h5-index.


Eigenfactor – The Eigenfactor helps determine the importance of a scientific journal. The Eigenfactor score is metric calculated by considering the origin of the incoming citations, the number of journal articles published in that journal per year, and reflect how frequently an average researcher would access content from that journal. For a give number of citations, citations from more significant journals will result in a higher Eigenfactor score. The Article influence score, similar to the Journal Impact Factor, measures the average number of articles in the journal. 


SciMango Journal Rank - Tools that helps compare or analyze science, technology, engineering, and mathematics domains through the use of journal and country scientific indicators that were developed from information contained in the Scopus database. Journals can be compared or analyzed.

  • SciMango Journal Rank indicator (SJR) measures a journal's impact, influence, or prestige. It measures the average number of weighed citations received in the selected year by the documents published in the journal in the three previous years.


Journal Guide - A tool that helps identify relevant journals for publishing articles.

  • Source-Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) is a metric used to measure of a journal’s impact. SNIP allows direct comparison of journals across multiple field since the impact of a journal is normalized to the number of papers published in its field. SNIPs are calculated by Scopus, publically available, and updated in the Journal Guide once a year in Q3. Only journals having a Journal Impact Factor have SNIPs.