Inconsistent quality signals: evidence from the regional journals

Elena Veretennik, Maria Yudkevich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nowadays many countries and institutions use bibliometric assessment of journal quality in their research evaluation policies. However, bibliometric measures, such as impact factor or quartile, may provide a biased quality assessment for relatively new, regional, or non-mainstream journals, as these outlets usually do not possess a longstanding history, and may not be included into indexing databases. To reduce the information asymmetry between academic community (researchers, editors, policymakers) and journal management, we propose an alternative approach to evaluate journals quality signals using previous publication track record of authors. We explore the difference in the quality signals sent by regional journals. Traditional, journal-level, bibliometric measures are contrasted with generalised measures of authors' publishing records. We used a set of 50,477 articles and reviews in 83 regional journals in Physics and Astronomy (2014–2019) to extract and process data on 73 866 authors and their additional 329,245 publications in other Scopus-indexed journals. We found that traditional journal-level measures (such as journal quartile, CiteScore percentile, Scimago Journal Rank) tend to under-evaluate journal quality, thus contributing to an image of low-quality research venues. Author-level measures (including the share of papers in the Nature Index journals) send positive signals of journal quality and allow us to subdivide regional journals by their publishing strategies. These results suggest that research evaluation policies might consider attributing greater weight to regional journals, not only for the training purposes of doctoral students but also for gaining international visibility and impact.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3675-3701
Number of pages27
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary.


  • Journal quality
  • Regional journal
  • Research impact
  • Research policy
  • Signalling theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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