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Fwd: FAQ - Global List of Journals

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Date: Fri, 4 Sep 2009 13:31:06 +0200
Message-ID: <eb19f3360909040431g79c69520yff52aa79d7fd177@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-archive@w3.org
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Sep 4, 2009 at 11:57 AM
Subject: Fwd: FAQ - Global List of Journals

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Arthur Sale <ahjs@ozemail.com.au>
Date: Fri, Sep 4, 2009 at 1:32 AM
Subject: FAQ - Global List of Journals
To: JISC-REPOSITORIES@jiscmail.ac.uk

My post on 2 Sept 2009 concerning the Australian journal list
http://www.arc.gov.au/era/journal_title_list.htm has prompted many
queries, so I ask for your indulgence to issue a FAQ. I hope I have
replied to each enquirer offline. Please ignore if you are not

Can I use this list for X? The list is not mine. It is produced by an
arm of the Australian Government (the Australian Research Council or
ARC) for the purpose of eventually assisting in the evaluation of
research in Australian universities. All I was doing was publicising
its existence. Re-use queries should be directed to the ARC. However
it is available publicly on the Internet to inspect, read and extract

How was the list compiled? The ARC asked each scholarly society in
Australia to submit to it a list of journals in which its members
published, and to classify these in A*, A, B and C categories, with
membership of 5%, 15%, 30% and 50% of the total. This is a ranked
classification, but regrettably the ARC calls it a ‘ranked list’. The
four national Academies (of Science, Technological Sciences, Social
Sciences and Humanities, see http://www.naf.org.au/) were also
involved. The lists were collated and sent out for review, and for
review by universities, several times. External reviewers have also
been used. The ARC staff have added their input. The list you see is
the result of about a year-long consultation process. Necessarily it
is not complete, because Australia produces only about 3% of the
world’s research, and although mostly published globally we don’t
publish in every journal in the world.

Isn’t this a step backwards to JIF-like classification? Well no.
Government bodies are always slow to change, and we have been
fortunate in Australia in having the ARC adopt this ranked
classification and some other metrics, including JIF, in the research
evaluation. This is a huge step forward from crude counting of
publications, or the expense of document-level secondary peer review.
The ranked classification is presented as a ‘peer-review’ of the
quality of journals, taking into account the centrality of the journal
to each discipline. It is quite possible for a journal to have three
different categories for three disciplines X, Y and Z (say computer
science, mathematics and electrical engineering). At some time in the
future we might be able to add document-centric metrics to the
research evaluation.

What does the ARC mean by ‘peer-reviewed’ journals? There is a long
history of this definition in the 20yr Higher Education Research Data
Collection. It is expected that there will be some mistakes that slip
through, but the scholarly societies are partly trusted to weed out
the fake journals who claim to be peer-reviewed but aren’t. Such
journals shouldn’t even make it to the C category. For example, the
following statement is provided to members of my university for the

Peer Review

For the purposes of this collection, an acceptable peer review process
is one that involves an independent, expert review.

The peer review process must involve assessment of the publication:

· in its entirety – not merely an abstract or extract;

· before publication; and

·by appropriately independent, qualified experts.  Independent in this
context means independent of the author.

For journal articles, any of the following are acceptable as evidence:

·the journal is listed in one of the Institute for Scientific
Information indexes (www.isinet.com/journals);

·the journal is classified as “refereed” in Ulrich’s International
Periodicals Directory (Volume 5 - Refereed Serials) or via Ulrich’s
web site www.ulrichsweb.com;

·the journal is included in DEEWR’s Register of Refereed Journals (no
longer maintained)

·there is a statement in the journal which shows that contributions
are peer reviewed;

·there is a statement or acknowledgement from the journal editor which
shows that contributions are peer reviewed; or

·a copy of a reviewer’s assessment relating to the article.


· a statement from an author that a publication was peer reviewed will
not be accepted;

·the existence of a national or international advisory board is not
sufficient evidence that all relevant publications are assessed by
members of it.

Arthur Sale

University of Tasmania
Received on Friday, 4 September 2009 11:31:50 UTC

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