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Taideyliopiston julkaisemisen opas: How to select a scientific publication for your articles

How to select a scientific publication for your articles

The most significant publications with regards to scientific impact

Open Access principles for universities state that the results of research carried out at universities shall be published using the most significant channels with regards to scientific impact. This is in line with e.g. the recommendation of The Academy of Finland (17.9.2014): “When there are Open Access science publications in the field of the same quality as traditional subscription journals, The Academy encourages researchers to publish their research results there and to archive duplicate versions of their publications in an open publication archive”. It is especially important to avoid fraudster publishers: see section ‘Vanity and fraudster publishers’ below. 

Tools for verifying the quality of a publication

Publication Forum is a national tool created by the Finnish scientific community. Publication Forum divides its distribution channels into three categories based on quality:
1 = basic level
2 = leading level
3 = highest level
(0 does not meet the criteria of level 1).
Publications are evaluated by 23 expert panels. Additional information is available from the Publication Forum website. The categorisations of Publication Forum are freely available online. The Ministry of Education and Culture considers Publication Forum to be its primary evaluation tool for publication channels, and the quality of the publication impacts the funding granted by the Ministry. 
One of the best-known international tools for evaluating publication channels is Thomson Reuter’s Impact Factor listing. It calculates the number of citations made in a certain year to articles published in the previous two years, ordering the publications based on the average number of citations against each published article. For instance, the impact factor of a certain journal in 2014 would be calculated as follows: the number of citations made in 2014 of articles published 2012-2013 (works making the citations indexed in Thomson Reuter’s Web of Science) divided by the total number of articles published in the same journal in the years 2012-2013.  The figures of Thomson Reuter’s Journal Impact Factor are available through the Journal Citation Reports database. The Journal Citation Reports database is a licensed product. Elsevier’s SCImago service offers similar level categorizations and is freely available online.  
Publishing in large multidisciplinary databases such as Thomson Reuter’s Web of Knowledge or the channels listed in Elsevier’s Scopus database may increase the visibility of your research. 



Vanity and fraudster publishers

Some journals have questionable motives for publishing, so make sure you choose carefully. A large number of journals sending spam to researchers may either be so-called vanity publishers or downright fraudulent. Vanity publishers are not established publishing houses, but rather seek to make money by sending admiring letters to a large number of writers in the hope of easy money from sales, since the writer is required to do the layout for them. If you have received a grant and published your thesis, expect to receive mail from at least one such publisher. Vanity publishers usually have impressive websites featuring the logos of esteemed international organisations and made-up impact figures, in order to create a good impression. Fraudster publishers are openly discussed in scientific communities online: you find the discussions by searching the name of the publisher and journal online. From the results you can usually deduce if publishing your research with this publisher would be an academic merit or a threat to you. 

All publications listed on Publication Forum, Thomson Reuter’s Web of Knowledge or Elsevier’s Scopus database are established academic publications. 

Read more about fraudster publishers: 
Butler, D. 2013. Investigating journals: The dark side of publishing. Nature, vol. 495 (7442), pp.433-435. doi:10.1038/495433a. 
Beall, J. 2012. Predatory publishers are corrupting open access. Nature, vol. 489 (7415). doi:10.1038/489179a.
Beall, J. 2013. Predatory publishing is just one of the consequences of gold open access. Learned Publishing, vol. 26 (2), pp. 1741-4857. doi:10.1087/20130203.