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Research Metrics

This guide will help you understand research metrics about authors, articles/books, and journals.

Basic Journal Information

Basic information about journals can inform a quality judgment. Consider the following: 

  • Peer review: whether articles in the journal go through review by other researchers before publication.
  • Acceptance rates: how many articles are accepted compared to how many submitted. 
  • Publisher: what entity publishes the journal.  
  • Publication history: how long the journal has been published.  
    • If a journal has a long publication history, it is often well-established and stable in the field.
    • If a journal is new, it may be filling a gap on an important emerging research topic.
  • Indexing: which databases capture and disseminate information on articles published in that journal.  
    • In general, the more databases the better, but be sure to look for the main indexes in your discipline. 
    • New journals are much less likely to be widely indexed. 

Use the following tools to find basic information about journals. Scroll down for screenshots and more information about using these tools.

Journal Information in Ulrichsweb

1. Open Ulrichsweb

2. Search for the journal title

3. Open the journal record (Note: Ulrichsweb has an entry line for each format (print, online, microform) of the journal. Typically the print format has more complete information.)

4. Look for the "refereed" line to determine if your journal is peer reviewed, and the start year for publication history.  

5. Open the Abstracting & Indexing section to see what databases include this journal. The list is organized by publisher. 


In the life sciences or medicine, note that Pubmed and MEDLINE denote different types of indexing. Pubmed indexes selectively, whereas MEDLINE (under the heading US National LIbrary of Medicine) indicates full indexing.

Journal Information in Cabells

Cabells includes publication history, peer review, and acceptance rates for journals in education and psychology. Acceptance rates for journals in other disciplines are more difficult to obtain and may require querying the editor.

1. Open Cabells

2. Search for the journal in the search bar along the top of the page

3. Open the journal record

4. Stay in the "About" section to view launch date, acceptance rate, and peer review information