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Education Research

A guide to starting points in education research at Queen's University, Kingston.

Predatory Journals

How to Assess a Journal from the Canadian Association of Research Libraries provides a handy graphic to navigating the the scholarly communications landscape. 

The Scholarly Communication Toolkit from the Association of College & Research Libraries (U.S.) gives sound advice for determining journal quality.

The Evaluating Journals section of the ACRL site is especially helpful.

Directory of Open Access Journals. DOAJ is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.

Beall's List of Predatory ​Journals and PublishersA (somewhat dated) list of questionable, scholarly open-access publishers.

Journal Citation Reports

Journal Citation Reports (JCR)

Lesson Plans: use these recorded classes and downloadable lesson outlines for teaching your own classes.

Master Journal List  Wondering if a title is covered in JCR?  Search by title, keyword and ISSN.

We begin our discussion with Journal Impact Factor with a bit of math:

JCR measures the average impact of original research articles & review articles appearing in the same journal.

Calculated using 3 years of data.


2016 Impact Factor = # of citations to all items published in 2014 & 2015


                                    # of articles & reviews published in 2014 & 2015


  • Range of possible values varies by Subject Caategory.



Median age of the articles that were cited in the JCR year. Half of a journal’s cited articles were published more recently that the cited half-life.

EIGENFACTOR The Eigenfactor calculation is based on the number of times articles from the journal published in the past five years have been cited in the JCR year, but it also considers which journals have contributed these citations so that highly cited journals will influence the network more than lesser journals. References from one article in a journal to another article from the same journal are removed, so that Eigenfactors are not influenced by journal self-citation. 

ARTICLE INFLUENCE The Article Influence determines the average influence of a journal’s articles over the first five years after publication. It is calculated by multiplying the Eigenfactor by 0.01 and dividing by the number of articles in the journal, normalized as a fraction of all articles in all publications. This measure is roughly analogous to the 5 year Journal Impact Factor in that it is a ratio of a journal’s citation influence to the size of the journal’s article contribution over a period of five years. The equation is as follows 0.01 x Eigenfactor Score X Where X = 5 Year Journal Article Count divided by the 5 Year Article Count from All Journals. The mean Article Influence for each article is 1.00. A score greater than 1.00 indicates that each article in the e journal has above-average influence. A score less than 1.00 indicates that each article in the journal has below-average influence.

For more see: the Indicators HandbookDownload a PDF version of the Indicators Handbook here (application/pdf, 1.0 MB, info). 

Media Coverage

Many Academics Are Eager to Publish in Worthless Journals

Far from being duped, researchers with few resources are turning to “predatory” journals to publish articles and polish resumes.g the main

How to Report When the Science Is Sketchy

Open-access academic publications were supposed to lower the barriers to knowledge. But when the walls came down, opportunists came in.

I used to use Google Scholar when I was looking into an area that was new to me. But now that I know that Google Scholar does not vet the journals it lists [emphasis added], I avoid it."

Why Beall’s List Died — and What It Left Unresolved About Open Access


The article discusses why University of Colorado at Denver librarian Jeffrey Beall deleted a list of other 1,000 academic journals he deemed untrustworthy.  IT uggests this may have been due to pressure from other university librarians, the college administration, or publishing companies. The article goes on to look at how the incident reflects challenges associated with researchers sharing and collaborating on work.