As you pursue your quest as researchers, you will have many choices to make; one of them is choosing the journal in which you intend to publish your valuable work. Many researchers submit their research work to journals based on misleading metrics. The purpose of misleading metrics providers is to make fake journals look legitimate, or to wrongly imply prestige and quality to low-quality journals. To determine if the journal metrics are misleading or not, you can judge the metrics providers upon the following criteria:

  • The website for a misleading metrics provider is not transparent and provides little information about itself such as location, management team and its experience and other relevant information.
  • The metrics provider charges journals for becoming included in their list.
  • The values (scores) for most or all of the journals on the metrics provider’s list increase each year automatically without being based on an increase in citations.
  • The metrics provider uses Google Scholar as its database for calculating metrics (Google Scholar does not screen for quality and lists predatory journals).
  • The methodology for calculating the value of the impact factor is contrived, unscientific, or unoriginal.
  • The metrics provider exists solely for the purpose of earning money from questionable journals that use the open-access model. The metrics provider charges the journals and assigns them an impact factor, and then the journals use the number to help increase article submissions and therefore revenue. Alternatively, the metrics provider exists as a front for an existing publisher and assigns impact factors to that publisher’s journals.
  • Coming across the term impact factor in a journal doesn’t necessarily reflect the actual impact factor of that journal, that’s why researchers are advised to double check the impact factor of that journal by:
  • If the journal is an open access journal: