In the world of academia, scholarliness is crucial to spreading one’s research and making an impact on the community and in society. But quality is subjective, and following the threads of future impact can be difficult to gauge. Determining the relevancy of an academic journal relies partly on quantitative data and measurements, but other aspects are qualitative.
The question then becomes one of how to measure quality and gauge the impact of an academic journal while avoiding any bias or skewed results. This is where guidelines using aspects like the impact factor come into play.
Using the Impact Factor and Level of Quality in Academics
In general, the impact of an article on a reader is subjective. But by using the impact factor, an index that measures the frequency of how many times a journal’s article becomes cited for use in other publications, this impact becomes measurable in quantitative terms. The more significant and impactful an article is, the more it is used by other experts as a benchmark or resource in their field of study.
The idea of using the impact factor to judge qualitativeness relies on the theory that an article’s readers are other researchers looking to publish their own results. When these experts acknowledge another article’s findings as part of their publications, they are acknowledging that the cited article had an impact on their work.
Quality, on the other hand, requires further analysis. To determine an academic journal’s level of quality can’t be left wholly in subjective measures. There had to be a better way to determine a scholar’s credible qualitative aspects; therefore, many resources such as Google Scholar use factors like these to apply quantitative measures to an otherwise subjective determination:
● Citation analysis - The average citation record of a journal is used as part of a measure of quality because it can be measured and is neutral. These numbers are updated frequently, but can still include skewed measurements. Bias occurs in aspects such as countries with English as a primary language since the citation databases use this language, and the fact that authors rarely go outside of their networking base of other researchers in their community to cite.
● Peer analyses - By having expert peers review the researcher’s work and vouch for its authenticity and credibility, the quality of the published article increases.
● Size of the audience - The wider the net of readers that engage with a particular article, the higher the quality score. International journals and electronic databases get higher circulation numbers. This also helps the journal’s ranking, and the more prestigious the journal is, the higher the article’s quality score will be, too.
● Rates of rejection to acceptance - When a journal rejects a lot of articles because of the high standards expected by that publication, articles that meet and exceed these standards to be published have higher quality levels.
These factors, amongst others, are often used to apply a quantitative scoring measurement to an otherwise qualitative rubric.
Using Measurements to Drive Research
Statistics like impact factor rates and quality levels help determine the aspect of a scholar’s article after it is published, but they can also be used as guidelines to help drive the research itself. By keeping these factors in mind, researchers can use them as benchmarks to work towards improving the scholarliness of their work.
While certain aspects that are far removed from the research are often overlooked early in the process, they can have an impact later on. Setting a goal of potential target audiences, journals to be published in, and acknowledging readership beyond one’s own immediate community allows the work to seamlessly integrate into as wide a range of readers as possible.
Use Impactio to Present Your Findings
Gauging the impact of your academic journal is out of your hands once your work is published, but there are things you can do ahead of time to help ensure your research reaches the widest audience range possible.
Joining a community of other experts through Impactio is a savvy move for researchers who want to have an all-in-one platform to store, publish, and present their findings, then share them with their peers on a global level.
With Impactio, you can easily transport your work into text, charts, and graphs, then turn them into professional PDF documents or a widely accessible web page. When your research is expert-level, you need a professional-grade platform to publish and share your findings on, like Impactio!