Saturday, April 25, 2009

Open Access Paleontology Rankings - Part I

Over the next few days, I'll be posting results of the 2009 Open Access Paleontology Journal Rankings. These results will be divided into several categories, including:
  • Immediate Open Access Journals for General Submission (journals to which anyone can submit [excluding most museum publications with more exclusive author criteria], and which provide open access immediately upon publication)
  • Immediate Open Access Journals (same as above, with museum publications included)
  • All Open Access Journals (includes those journals with delayed open access)
  • Community Ranked Open Access Journals (journals as ranked by the opinions from the survey)
In this post, I'll just be covering Immediate Open Access Journals for General Submission. As described above, this includes only journals with immediate open access (versus open access after a set delay) and excludes those with restrictive authorship criteria (e.g., museum publications which usually require employment, association, or invitation to submit). The ratings are based on a combination of journal citations, recent citations, and community opinion (outlined in my previous post). At the end of this series, I will post the raw data underlying the ratings.

Again With the Caveats
Remember, these rankings are only one method for measuring the efficacy, quality, and impact of a journal, and you will probably disagree with one or more of the placements on the list. Especially for relatively young journals, rankings may change rapidly in the coming years.

Top Immediate Open Access Journals for Paleontology 2009
(General Submission)
  1. Ameghiniana
  2. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica
  3. PLoS ONE, PLoS Biology [tie]
  4. [tied for 3]
  5. Paläontologische Zeitschrift
  6. Geologica Acta
  7. Palaeontologia Electronica
  8. Vertebrata PalAsiatica
  9. Geodiversitas
  10. Geogaceta
  11. Estudios Geológicos
  12. Revue de Paléobiologie
  13. Journal of Paleontological Sciences*
  14. Coloquios de Paleontología
  15. PalArch
  16. Joannea - Geologie und Paläontologie
  17. Natura Nascosta
  18. The Open Paleontology Journal
  19. Palaeodiversity
  20. Journal of Paleontological Techniques
*not included in the community ranking survey

While compiling the results, I noted that sometimes community opinions of a journal varied from the rankings by sheer number of articles or citations. This will be highlighted in a future post. So, if you're worried because your favorite journal is lower than you thought, or your least favorite journal is higher than you thought, you'll probably be interested to see those results.

Unlike the widely-known Science Citation Index, these rankings include very new journals as well as more established journals. Thus, some rankings may change in the coming years are the new kids on the block accumulate more citations, more papers, and more exposure. Still, it is very interesting to note how some quite new journals (such as PLoS ONE) still have a high position within the list.

It is interesting to note how truly global this list is - a healthy mix of journals from South America, Europe, Asia, and North America round out the top 10. What does this mean, if anything, for the future of paleontology?

Up Next. . .All Immediate Open Access Journals

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