, Volume 110, Issue 3, pp 1333–1350 | Cite as

Characterisation of academic journals in the digital age

  • Xin Gu
  • Karen Blackmore


Innovations in scholarly publishing have led to new possibilities for academic journals (e.g., open access), and provided scholars with a range of indicators that can be used to evaluate their characteristics and their impact. This study identifies and evaluates the journal characteristics reported in five databases: Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory (Ulrichs), Journal Citation Reports (JCR), SCImago Journal & Country Rank (SJR), Google Scholar Metrics (GS), and Cabell’s Periodical Directory (Cabells). It describes the 13 indicators (variables) that are available through these databases—scholarly impact, subject category, age, total articles, distribution medium, open access, peer review, acceptance rate, pricing, language, country, status, and issue frequency—and highlights the similarities and differences in the ways these indicators are defined and reported. The study also addresses the ways in which this kind of information can be used to better understand particular journals as well as the scholarly publishing system.


Academic journal Attributes Impact factor Ranking Journal age Acceptance rate 

Mathematics Subject Classification


JEL Classification



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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Design, Communication and Information TechnologyThe University of NewcastleNewcastleAustralia

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