IU System Joins the Open Textbook Network

The IU system has joined the Open Textbook Network (OTN). Representing over 1,000 institutions, OTN is a consortium of campuses and systems aimed at reducing textbook costs using open educational resources (OER). OTN membership will give IU instructors across the state the ability to review open textbooks in the Open Textbook Library, a collection of nearly 700 textbooks in a variety of disciplines that are free to use, modify, and distribute. Over half of these textbooks have been Open Textbook Network Member badge reviewed by participating instructors, and 70% of the reviews have at least four stars. OTN has found that 45% of instructors who review a textbook go on to adopt it because of its high quality and comprehensiveness.

As part of the OTN membership, IUB staff will receive training on how to find, evaluate, and share open educational resources. Staff will then return to Bloomington to lead workshops for instructors, which introduce both OER and the Open Textbook Library. After each workshop, instructors have the opportunity to review one of the available textbooks in the Open Textbook Library. IUB instructors will receive a stipend for attending the workshop and posting a textbook review in the library. The OTN model provides a low-stakes way for faculty to learn more about OER while aggregating high-quality reviews that help others discern the strengths and weaknesses of OER in a specific subject area. Any IUB instructor of record is eligible to attend a workshop and write a review.

OTN membership also gives IU access to the Publishing Cooperative, an online community with resources to support open textbook publishing and modification. Most of the textbooks available through the OTN library are legally licensed to be modified. The Publishing Cooperative offers guidance to assist instructors in adapting an open textbook to suit their needs. If instructors want to develop their own textbook, the Publishing Cooperative also provides online tools, courses, and step-by-step guides on the open textbook publishing process.

Finally, as a member of the OTN, IUB will have an opportunity to shape the strategy and governance of a key organization that has furthered OER across the nation. Instructors and staff will also be able to monitor textbook usage and track student savings.

According to the OTN website, the average student is now spending $1200 annually on textbooks and supplies. Participating in the OTN will save students money on textbooks while helping instructors customize their course materials.

For more info about OER please visit the Open Scholarship website and be on the lookout for open textbook workshop dates in Bloomington in the Fall.

IU systemwide OTN membership was made possible through the Central Indiana Community Foundation. 

5 Tips to Amplify the Impact of Your Scholarly Work

Individuals, departments and institutions are increasingly concerned with understanding and evaluating scholars, their output and productivity, as well as the impact of their scholarly work.  If you are an instructor or researcher, your own personal curiosity may lead you to search for strategies to demonstrate impact, or it may be a requirement for academic promotion, or to get tenure.  Here are 5 ways you can increase the impact of the work you do.

1. Make your work available to as wide an audience as possible

Making your work (or some version of it) open access is a great way to increase impact. Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of scholarly work, coupled with the rights specified by the scholar to reuse this work. Indiana University provides the IUScholarWorks and IUScholarWorks Open repositories to help scholars disseminate and preserve their work.  Works deposited in these repositories are assigned a permanent identifier that will not change over time, as well as descriptive keywords to make works discoverable to others. 

IUScholarWorks Open hosts articles published after February 2017 that are subject to the Indiana University Bloomington Faculty Open Access PolicyIUScholarWorks is a wider repository that is designed to host, preserve, and make discoverable a variety of scholarly work by any IU affiliate (e.g. white papers, presentations, data, educational materials, research articles,  poster presentations, etc.).

In addition, IU Libraries provides open access journal publishing options.  IUScholarWorks Open Journals is a suite of over 55 journals that offer open access publishing in a variety of disciplines such as education, vascular medicine, optometry history, digital heritage, newborn developmental care, languages, folklore, disability studies, and interdisciplinary undergraduate research.

2. Manage your scholarly identity and promote your work

Managing your online scholarly identity is an important strategy for scholarly impact – research offices and employers increasingly look at online profiles as a surrogate CV, and some services are already tracking and collating the work of scholars and generating impact profiles.  Two easy first steps in taking charge of your online identity are creating an ORCID iD and a Google Scholar profile. 

An ORCID iD is a persistent numeric identifier that is unique to you. Using ORCID connects you with a trusted record of your education and employment affiliation, and work that you have contributed including presentations, publications, or educational materials.  You can use the permanent identifier provided by IUScholarWorks in ORCID, so that others can access your work. Go to www.orcid.org  or consult our ORCID Libguide: guides.libraries.indiana.edu/Orcid-IU.  

Google Scholar is a tool that can be used to keep track of your own publications, and publications that cite your work. It can help you increase search engine optimization (SEO), and make your work more discoverable. Google Scholar indexes material deposited in IUScholarWorks and can send you an alert when it indexes work that should be attributed to you. For more information see https://libraries.indiana.edu/google-scholar.  If you already have a Google Scholar profile, review it to ensure that the record of your work is accurate and up to date.  

Many academics also social media and social sharing platforms to promote their work.  You can write a short plain-language summary of your work and include your IUScholarWorks permanent identifier so that others can review the work for themselves. You can also include your ORCID iD so that potential readers can see the full range of work that you have done.

3. Make an impact plan

The beginning of a semester is a great time for forward planning.  An impact plan should include:

  • The factors you will be evaluated on.
  • One or more achievable goals for your scholarly work over the semester.
  • Strategies and tools to help you increase, track and document the impact of that work.
  • A roadmap detailing steps and timeframes to implement the strategies and tools.

4. Learn what quantitative and qualitative indicators are suitable for evaluating your work and how they might be used

Best practice in scholarly evaluation recommends using multiple indicators to provide a more robust picture of attention, influence, and impact.

A common metric is citation counts, or the number of times that a published work has appeared in the reference list of research articles or books. This metric is best used in evaluating the usefulness of research articles, books, and datasets, but citations take time to accrue, and a work may be cited to critique or disparage it rather than for its usefulness.  Journal Impact factor is a venue-level measure reflecting the annual average number of citations of recent articles published in that journal. It can be useful in comparing the relative influence of journals within a discipline but is not a good indicator of the quality or usefulness of individual articles or authors.

Altmetrics include item views, downloads, media coverage, government policy mentions, and social media mentions.  These track attention, but are not accurate indicators of whether someone has actually read your work. Some social sharing sites (Mendeley, Academia.edu) offer readership statistics – again, this does not track actual reading but rather the number of users who have added an article into their personal library.

Altmetric providers and some repositories also track a user’s geographic location when they access an item.  While this can illustrate the geographic reach of a scholarly work, it can be affected by the use of VPN (virtual private networks) and some ISP (internet service provider) practices that mask users’ true locations

Qualitative indicators are equally important and may include:

  • Invitations e.g. to speak, facilitate, intervene, exhibit or consult
  • Grant funding
  • Patents/Licenses
  • Changes in professional or technical standards
  • Incorporation in workflows or implementation in your field
  • Participant feedback

IU librarians can help you use appropriate indicators to create a narrative around the scholarly contributions that are most valuable to you to make your case for scholarly excellence.

5. Consult with a Librarian

IU librarians will partner with you to:

  • Manage your online scholarly identity
  • Increase the visibility of your work.
  • Incorporate practices within your teaching and scholarship to facilitate gathering data on impact.
  • Understand how metrics and altmetrics are calculated and used, their benefits and limitations, and how to apply them to your work.
  • Identify and use qualitative indicators of impact.
  • Recommend other relevant services such as IU Libraries CV Service openscholarship.indiana.edu/oa-cv-service.   

To learn more about the impact services offered by IU Libraries, review our impact services page, or contact the Scholarly Communication Department at iusw@indiana.edu.

 

ORCID requirement for NIH – 2nd deadline fast approaching

The National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control, and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality have implemented the 1st phase of the new requirement for ORCID iDs for researchers supported by new training (T), fellowship (F), education, or career development (K) awards in fiscal year (FY) 2020. The requirement for ORCID identifiers was incorporated into the appointment process for trainees, scholars, and participants supported by institutional research training, career development, and research education awards that require new appointments through the xTrain system in October 2019At the time of appointment, the xTrain system will check whether appointees have ORCID iDs and appointments will be not be accepted for agency review unless an ORCID iD is linked to the individual’s eRA Commons Personal Profile.  

An ORCID iD is a single persistent numeric identifier that is unique to you. Researcher names are neither unique nor static. Many researchers may have the same name, and your name may change over time with life events. Using ORCID connects you with a trusted, verifiable record of your education and employment affiliation, grant funding, research, and work that you have contributed such as presentations or publications. This verification along with its data transfer capacity i.e. ORCID’s ability to move information through connected information systems designated by the user (via APIs or  Search & Link functions), makes ORCID a natural partner for integration into the eRA Commons PPF. 

Beginning with receipt dates on or after January 25, 2020, the requirement for ORCID identifiers will be enforced at the time of application for new individual fellowship and career development awards. The requirement does not apply to fellowship and mentored career development non-competing renewals, or to individuals supported via administrative supplements to enhance diversity.

Researchers must create an ORCID iD (Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier) and associate it with their eRA Commons Personal Profile. The eRA Commons is an online interface where grant applicants, grantees and federal staff at NIH and grantor agencies can access and share administrative information relating to research grants. The Personal Profile (PPF) in eRA Commons is the central repository of information on all registered users. It is designed so that individual eRA system users can hold and maintain ownership over the accuracy of their own profile information, and provides a single profile per person, regardless of the various roles they may hold throughout their relationship with the agency (e.g. trainee, graduate student, principal investigator, etc.), assuring data accuracy and integrity. Learn how to create and link your ORCID iD to the eRA Commons here.

At Indiana University, you can connect your ORCID iD with Digital Measures for annual reporting. 

You can also link your ORCID iD to other professional accounts such as PubMed, SciENcv, Web of Science, and ScholarOne.   Learn more about how to register for and use ORCID in our guide – ORCID@IU

New Issue of The Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (JoSoTL) Published

The Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (JoSoTL) has published a new issue for October, 2019. The IU Libraries host over 60 issues of JoSoTL open access, dating back to 2001.

JoSoTL focuses on publishing rigorous, data-driven research, along with innovative case studies, essays, critiques, and articles that “contribute to deeper understanding of the issues, problems, and research relevant to the community of reflective teacher-scholars.”

Stylized cover of October, 2019 issue

The current issue includes articles exploring various factors that influence student success. “Instructor Response to Uncivil Behaviors in the Classroom: An Application of Politeness Theory,” for example, investigates effective classroom management. When a student is actively disruptive, the instructor must choose, on the spot, between a stern or gentle response to the student’s behavior. In these situations, the instructor risks losing credibility or unnecessarily embarrassing the student based on the firmness of his or her response. This article describes an innovative experimental study of student responses to instructor classroom management strategies. In the experiment, students viewed and responded to videos of classroom management scenes. The authors find that students respond the most positively to stern, direct instructor responses to disruptive behavior.

Another article, “Claiming Their Education: The Impact of a Required Course for Academic Probation Students with a Focus on Purpose and Motivation,” examines the effectiveness of requiring a remedial, credit-bearing course for college students on academic probation. The authors find that requiring a course with “a curriculum centered on helping students identify purpose and motivation” can be a “useful intervention for helping to dramatically increase the retention and graduation of students facing academic difficulty.”

Finally, “‘If They Don’t Care, I Don’t Care’: Millennial and Generation Z Students and the Impact of Faculty Caring” focuses on student reactions to faculty demeanor. Through in-depth interviews with Millennial students, this study investigates student perceptions of instructor “caring” and its impact on motivation. In general, the authors find that students perceive adaptable, empathetic instructors as being the most caring. Student were, for example, more comfortable with instructors who acknowledged the many other responsibilities student have in addition to their classwork.

These articles exemplify JoSoTL’s empirical approach to pedagogical scholarship. The Journal is published four times per year and is available in the Directory of Open Access Journals.

OA Impact Week: Raising Your Research Profile Workshop Recap

On October 24, 2019, the IU Libraries Scholarly Communications Department partnered with the Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity & Inclusion, the Center of Excellence for Women & Technology, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs to hold a workshop, “Raising Your Research Profile”  that discussed Open Scholarship at IU as well as opportunities available for faculty and graduate students to increase their research profiles. This presentation was held as part of International Open Access Week, a week for institutions around the globe to facilitate events and initiatives that raise awareness about open access and empower faculty, staff, and students to get involved.

This year’s OA Week theme was  “Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge.” The key concepts behind this theme involve the assessment of open information accessibility and the assurance that every individual is able to participate in open scholarship without barriers. These ideas guide much of our work in the Scholarly Communication Department, with particular interest in equity among the open scholarship contributors. It is important to ensure that every individual is able to contribute his/her research to open access sources so that there is a diverse range of materials available. It was this goal that inspired the workshop. We strive to diversify the voices heard in academic research, and in order to do this it is crucial that we include the work of those who are currently underrepresented. IU scholars are creating excellent, ground-breaking research, and it’s important to draw attention to their work and provide them with the tools and services necessary to share it openly.

At the workshop, Scholarly Communication Librarian Sarah Hare discussed the opportunities for faculty and staff involvement with open access at IU, mentioning specifically the CV Service. With this service, IU Bloomington researchers are to make the full-text of their CV open access and available to all via IUScholarWorks. This service enables you to make as many items as possible from your CV open access conveniently and without breaking your existing copyright agreement. Additionally, depositing your work with IUScholarWorks can create opportunities for career advancement, as the visibility of your work is increased. 

Open Scholarship Resident Willa Liburd Tavernier discussed research impact and how you can utilize IUScholarWorks to increase your visibility, which often leads to increased citation rates. Depositors can take advantage of this along with IUScholarWorks’ built-in metrics – which allow you to see how many times you page has been viewed or downloaded – to expand their academic profile. The Scholarly Communication Department can help you create and manage scholarly profiles profile, including Google Scholar and ORCID, track the impact of your work using online tools, and much more

Our hope is that by increasing the visibility of all scholars and their research we can work toward a future where not only is information open, but where participation is open to all. By striving for this equity, we can shape the foundation of our systems for creating and sharing knowledge to be inclusive, diverse, and reflective of users. 

 

Interested in making your scholarship open in our institutional repository? Contact IUSW@indiana.edu

Find the presentation slides in our institutional repository: http://hdl.handle.net/2022/24692

Open Source Spatial Data Through the IU Libraries

This post was authored by Jordan Blekking, a Scholarly Communication graduate student and PhD student in the Department of Geography. 

For those searching for open source spatial data, the Government Information, Maps, and Microform Services (GIMMS) at the Herman B Wells Library can help. GIMMS provides access to a wide range of spatial datasets that provide an array of data from around the world. In particular, GIMMS provides access to two exceptional databases to meet your data needs: IndianaMap and the Big Ten Geoportal.

IndianaMap is the largest publicly available collection of spatial data for the state of Indiana. The data is made available through a collaboration between multiple federal, state, and local governments, organizations, and universities. The Indiana Geological Survey developed and maintains the data collection. Data from all 92 Indiana counties is available on IndianaMap.

IndianaMap tool
An example screenshot from the IndianaMap Map Viewer. The data shown is of the average family size (by US Census Blockgroups) for the entire state of Indiana.

Data layers are organized around eight general themes: Demographics, Environment, Geology, Government, Hydrology, Imagery, Infrastructure, and Reference. Examples of data are Census data cleaned and clipped to the state of Indiana, Wind Power Speed and Density, School districts, Elevation data, Political Boundaries, and much more. Data is available for download, as a Web Map Service (WMS), or viewable on the IndianaMap Map Viewer.

The Big Ten Geoportal provides access to geospatial data and resources selected and curated by librarians and geospatial specialists at twelve research institutions in the Big Ten Academic Alliance, including Indiana University Bloomington. The geoportal provides access to web services, digitized historical maps, and geospatial resources, including GIS datasets. Data available through the Big Ten Geoportal is wide ranging in its subject matter, as well as its geographic extent. The site contains an extensive collection of digitized maps, which would be especially helpful for historians or those with research interests related to history.

Big ten geoportal information
A list of Big Ten Geoportal participating universities and their placement within the region.

Each of these unique data sources allow users the opportunity to spatially integrate data in order to answer questions like: “What types of demographic changes have happened in Indianapolis over the last twenty years?” and “Where should a new grocery store be established?”

Find more open spatial data on our library guide: guides.libraries.indiana.edu/GIS

Sharing Dissertations Beyond the PDF in IUScholarWorks

This blog already provides a summary of the benefits of making your dissertation available in IUScholarWorks as well as details on how to submit your dissertation to the repository. But what if your dissertation is more than a PDF file? What if it includes video, dynamic web content, or other interactive media? IUScholarWorks can still serve as a space for making your work available for anyone around the world to read, regardless of their affiliation. 

We generally call non-traditional, born-digital dissertations “digital dissertations.” Digital dissertations could be as simple as including an extra video or data file alongside a more traditional piece of scholarship or as complex as having a dissertation completely hosted on a dynamic web platform with accompanying text files. Digital dissertations are becoming more widespread as digital scholarship and digital humanities continue to gain momentum. Here are just a few examples and excerpts of what we’re calling digital dissertations: 

Digital dissertations might include capturing performances, integrating images and audio records, modeling concepts with 3D figures, sharing the underlying data behind the research reported in the dissertation, and building new web content that allows the author to organize information in a non-linear structure. 

It’s important to note that while IUScholarWorks is able to host several different types of content and file formats (PDFs, Word documents, text documents, Open Office, slide decks, image formats) and we have creative workarounds for capturing the content in digital dissertations, there are some limitations. Sometimes, particularly with dissertations that are built as websites, the navigation of content is just as important as the content itself and is considered part of the dissertation. While we will be unable to perfectly preserve the navigation and look/feel of a particular website, we can host a majority of the content through alternative methods. We can also capture the “pieces” of most sites, including videos (through Media Collections Online), data, and 3D objects. 

Interested in sharing your digital dissertation? 

 

Two New Graduate Students Join the the Scholarly Communication Department

The Scholarly Communication Department is happy to introduce our two new graduate assistants, Alexis Murrell and Matt Vaughn. Both have recently began the master’s program for Information and Library Science (ILS) in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering.

Picture of Alexis Murrell with diploma

Alexis recently graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Strategic Communication and a minor in English. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Library Science with a focus in Rare Books and Manuscripts. In addition to her work for the Scholarly Communications Department, she also works as the Cataloging and Processing Assistant for the Federal Depository Library Program. Her interests are strongly centered around special collections librarianship and donor relations.

Headshot of Matt Vaughn

Matt is pursuing a Masters in Library Science with a specialization in digital humanities. He has a research background in American literature, and instructional experience in English composition and leadership development. He has also worked as an editorial assistant with the Modernist Journals Project and the Journal of Modern Periodical Studies. His current research interests include creating digital resources for literary archives and exploring the role of libraries in language preservation.

We are looking forward to having Matt and Alexis on our team, and can’t wait for them to contribute to our programming and services. Please join us in welcoming them to our department!

IU Libraries Partners with MDPI Open Access Program

MDPI open logo

IU Libraries recently partnered with the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI) as part of their Institutional Open Access Program (IOAP), joining over 550 other institutions. Founded in 2010, MDPI is a publisher of open access scientific journals, meaning that all research outputs are openly licensed and disseminated without barriers, financial or otherwise. Open access publishing is occasionally accompanied with an article processing charge, or APC, which helps offset publishing costs traditionally covered by subscription fees. As part of MDPI’s open access program, researchers from partner institutions receive a 10% discount on their APC when publishing with MDPI. For those interested in publishing with MDPI, the following provides a walkthrough of their submission process, including when and how to apply your IU-affiliated APC discount. 

MDPI’s open access program grants free access to their Submission System (SuSy). MDPI aims to “provide libraries and central offices additional control and transparency over papers submitted to [their] journals, and provide early notification of potential costs involved with the submissions.” New users must register with their IU email. Once registered and logged in, researchers can submit a manuscript for publication following MDPI’s 5-step submission process.

Steps 1 and 2 include inputting manuscript and author information, respectively. Authors suggest three peer reviewers in Step 3 and upload their manuscript in either a Word or ZIP file format in Step 4. Step 5 completes the process and sends a confirmation to the journal’s editors. It is here where authors will be prompted to designate their IOAP partnership and any applicable discounts. Authors will be provided with a drop-down box where they can select IU as their institution and receive the discount. 

drop down menu of IOAP partner institutions
Sample drop-down menu of IOAP partner institutions

Once Indiana University is selected, the APC discount will be automatically processed. IU’s partnership with MDPI is non-centralized, so the remaining APC will be invoiced directly to the author. In addition to MDPI, IU has also partnered with Frontiers, which provides a 7.5% discount for IUB affiliates, and SpringerOpen/BioMed Central, which provides a 15% discount. For additional APC support, authors can apply for IU’s Open Access Article Publishing Fund, which provides scholars up to $2,000 per year to cover open access APCs. For further questions regarding APCs, the IOAP partnership, or publishing with MDPI, see MDPI’s IOAP FAQ page or contact iusw@indiana.edu.

How to Find a Journal Venue

The Scholarly Communication Department often helps graduate students find a journal for their work. Students come to us after they have reworked a course paper or thesis into an article manuscript. They need guidance on how to find journals that offer the readership and impact they’re interested in. In addition to helping students pinpoint venues, we help them understand and weigh the processes and policies of the journals we identify. This includes understanding journals’ peer review process and self-archiving policy. This post summarizes some common strategies and tools we recommend to graduate students, regardless of their discipline.

Find Journal Venues

Evaluate which journals you’re already citing

A quick and easy way to find journal venues is to look at your citation list! Which journals are you citing? Are there journals you seem to cite again and again?

Look at other scholars’ CVs and profiles  

Another strategy for finding journal venues is to look at where others in your subfield are publishing. It was be helpful to browse the CVs or Google Scholar profiles of your advisor, top scholars in your field, or scholars that you continually cite or follow. For example, if you were a scholar in scientometrics, Cassidy Sugimoto’s profile would be useful.

cassidy sugimoto's google scholar profile

Cassidy Sugimoto’s Google Scholar Profile

This strategy can be overwhelming as you have to sift through several journals, some of which are likely out of scope, but if you’d like to create a comprehensive list it can be useful.

Analyze current journal lists

Some disciplines maintain listings of top journals in a specific field. However, these can be difficult to find and sometimes it’s unclear how recently they were updated. The IU Libraries maintains a listing of electronic journals in each discipline. This list is limited, as coverage is limited to what the library has decided to purchase. Still, this strategy can be used as a “quick start” for finding titles. Be sure to navigate into a subfield (for example, “Painting” within Art & Architecture) in order to limit your search to a manageable number of results.

Ask your advisor and subject librarian

Your advisor is incredibly knowledgeable about publishing practices in your field. Don’t forget to consult with them! Faculty advisors can often name the top 5 journals for your specific work, giving you an excellent starting point and cutting down on the amount of research you’ll need to do to curate a list of potential journals. Similarly, subject librarians curate and purchase key journals in your field. Find your subject librarian by visiting the library website. 

Evaluate Journal Venues

You have a list of potential journals! Now, how do you evaluate them in order to select the most appropriate venue for your work? In addition to the readership the journal provides, the following considerations are important for authors to weigh before they submit their work. Most of this information can be found on the journal’s website- if not, details about potential tools you might utilize in order to find this information are provided.

Open access policy and article processing charges

If you submit your work to this journal will readers only be able to access it by paying a fee or subscription? Is there an option for making your work open access or openly available for anyone to read? If so, are authors required to pay a fee (often called an article processing charge or APC)?

APC for "scientific data" journal

An example of a journal’s APC information

Self-archiving policy

Even if the journal is “closed” or only available to readers with a subscription, does this journal allow authors to share a version of their work open access in a repository? Many journal won’t allow authors to share the final version but will allow authors to share a pre-print or postprint (defined below). If this is permitted, which version does the journal support?

description of pre/post/offprint

Definitions of Pre-Print, Postprint, and Version of Record

If this information isn’t explicit on the journal’s website, search for the journal in Sherpa ROMEO, a community database of publisher’s self-archiving policies.

Copyright policy

Does the journal provide the full-text of the copyright agreement they expect authors to sign? Sometimes this will be called the “author agreement” or it might fall under a larger heading entitled copyright policy. It’s important to understand if the journal requires authors to transfer their copyright before submission. If you can’t find this information, ask the editor! Remember that regardless of the policy, our Copyright Program helps authors negotiate these agreements.

Peer review model used

Journals employ different peer-review models: often either double-blind peer review, single-blind peer review, or open peer review. In double blind, authors and reviewers don’t know the identities of each other. In single blind, the reviewer knows the author’ identity but the author doesn’t know who the reviewer is. In open peer review, both the author and the reviewer know each other’s’ identities. Each model has limitations and benefits related to eliminating bias, increasing transparency, and facilitating constructive feedback. It’s important to remember that even within these models journal practices vary, making double-blind review at one journal a little different that double-blind review at another. Look for the peer review policy on the journal’s website. Scholarly Communication staff can help you find and understand details about the peer review process and weigh that process with your goals for having your work reviewed. If the peer review policy for the journal you’re examining seems unusual (for example they promise that double-blind peer review will take two weeks), review our guide on identifying and avoiding predatory publishers.  

Index and database coverage

Readership is so important when selecting a journal venue! One of the ways that scholars search for relevant articles when doing a literature review is by using library databases that “index” or include details (and sometimes the full text) of articles in their field. For example, if you’re a scholar in literature and languages you probably know about MLA Bibliography–it’s the place to start your research. In short, it’s important to consider where your potential journal venue is indexed as it will impact other scholars that look for your work in library databases.

A tool called Ulrichs provides this information (and many more details!) for thousands of journals. Simply search for a journal title, click on the title, and then select “Abstracting and Indexing.”

ulrichs details for nature

 

Databases and Indexes the journal Nature appears in

Metrics

Finally, if you’re interested in going into academia, metrics like journal impact factor can be important factors in selecting a journal. Journal impact factor calculates the average number of citations a particular journal has over a two year period, quantifying how much it is cited in other works. While these kinds of metrics have been heavily critiqued, search committees and tenure review committees commonly take these metrics into account when reviewing your work.

A tool called Journal Citation Reports (JCR) provides the impact factor and other citation information for thousands of journals, mostly in the sciences and social sciences. Simply search for the journal title and JCR will provide the impact factor.

JCR search

Impact factor and citation information for the Journal of Nutrition

This number doesn’t mean anything without context and impact factors vary significantly by discipline. You can also search for a listing of journals in your field and sort them by impact factor, which can be helpful for understanding what an average impact factor in your area is.

Important Tools

Below is a summary of the tools mentioned. Many are available through the library website!

  • Ulrichs: provides detailed information, including editorial board information, indexing/ database coverage, peer review status, and open access information for more than 164,000 serials published throughout the world
  • Sherpa ROMEO: a crowdsourced database of publisher self-archiving policies, including journals and book publishers
  • Predatory Publishers Guide: a guide with details about predatory publishing practices and tips for ensuring that a journal is legitimate
  • Journal Citation Reports (JCR): a database of citation data for 12,000 scholarly and technical journals from approximately 3,300 publishers. Coverage is heavily focused on the sciences and social sciences.

Still have questions? Schedule a consultation by e-mailing iusw@indiana.edu! We also always recommend that you meet with your faculty advisor as they are knowledgeable about publishing practices and norms within your discipline and area of interest.