Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Academic Journals

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Choosing journal covers[edit]

Hi! Quick question about choosing journal covers for articles. I think it’s quite important for visual identification to have a journal cover in the article, so I have slowly started to add covers to articles without them. For journals started in the last 20 years (quite a few…) it is often possible to find all journal covers on their website. So I have often taken volume 1 issue 1 with the rationale that the first issue will always be the first, but the latest issue keeps changing. Yesterday an editor (admin) commented “usually use up-to-date image” so I wanted to hear what the experienced editors here think. Is volume 1 issue 1 fine, or would it be better to just take the latest available cover? SakurabaJun (talk) 00:55, 14 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I prefer Volume 1, Issue 1, since I feel that's the most encyclopedic of all choices you could make. Or alternatively, the first issue using the current name. Random issues might be more up to date, but they also stop being the most recent issue very quickly. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 01:06, 14 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Headbomb Thanks a lot for the quick reply! I'm happy to hear you agree. Follow-up: This is not high priority, but I was thinking that some journals might deserve an image with slightly higher resolution. Still within what would be considered fair use of course, but 200 pixel width instead of 100 pixel width makes a lot of difference in my opinion. Is this OK? If the existing grainy image is from a random issue in the mid 2000s, could I replace it with vol 1 issue 1 or is it better to take the same issue in higher quality to maintain the visual identity of the page? I'm not describing this so well, but I feel like there is a small conflict in this case between the rationale of using vol 1 issue 1 and not changing a page too much. SakurabaJun (talk) 01:40, 14 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Apart from very long-established titles where "Vol 1 Issue 1" offers a certain historical element, I'd say that a "typical" current cover is probably more useful than 1(1), as helping to visually identify the title (which is, after all, our grounds for "fair use"). Not particularly the most recent issue, but perhaps the most recent major redesign of the cover. PamD 08:00, 19 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@PamD Thanks for the input! I agree that using a cover after a major redesign has its merits. SakurabaJun (talk) 09:41, 19 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I also prefer a journal cover which has the contemporary design because that is the most recognizable to contemporary readers. Bluerasberry (talk) 13:09, 19 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@SakurabaJun: I think I was probably the editor referred to above, but not notified (re Nature Medicine, as I recall)? I think we should generally be using a reasonably representative issue of the most recent design, both because it's the most useful and because the fair-use rationale states the image is for identification purposes. I generally choose either the most recent issue or a cover from the past year or so that's typical and also visually appealing/comprehensible at the thumbnail size. If we were allowed to have two non-free images (which afaik we are not), then the first cover might also be of interest, but these are often much more generic cover designs, depending on age, sometimes without images.
In the case of Nature Medicine, looking at recent covers, there looks to have been a redesign and a trend away from false-colour ems to diagrams, so perhaps the best course would be to take a more-recent cover? But generally it might be polite to discuss it with the editors who have worked on the article to come to a consensus as to what is the most useful image to use? Espresso Addict (talk) 02:53, 3 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Looks as if the Nature Medicine redesign was Dec 2019, so it would make sense to use an image of that or a more recent cover. PamD 07:08, 3 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd already started a discussion at the Nature Medicine talk page, if anyone's interested. Espresso Addict (talk) 08:02, 3 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that a typical cover that works at the thumbnail size is important. And yes, in many cases the first volume has a generic design and a more recent one might improve the visual identity of the article.
As for discussing cover images in the talk pages, I'm a bit skeptical. I certainly believe this is a good approach in general, but given the huge number of journals and (from what I can see) very few active participants in this project, it would be more effective with general guidelines/consensus here that we can apply to most journals. Difficult edge cases will arise as well as disagreement, but then we can have a discussion in the talk pages. A bit along the lines of WP:BOLD perhaps. SakurabaJun (talk) 00:49, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks, SakurabaJun. I agree general guidelines from the project are useful, and I think this has been a productive discussion.
The problem, I think, with being bold in the case of replacing non-free images is that the editor who added the old image (often the page creator) is notified by a bot telling them that their image is about to be deleted, which doesn't feel all that friendly. And once the file has been deleted, a non-admin user can't readily undo the edit. Imo, always best to first drop a note on the talk page before making any hard-to-reverse change; that way if someone complains later, one can point to the discussion. One trick I tend to use when considering potentially controversial changes to an article is to check whether the creator was active recently. If they retired five years ago, one is less likely to cause upset by wading in. Espresso Addict (talk) 22:55, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're right, the semi-automatic deletion makes it less than ideal. SakurabaJun (talk) 23:28, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

List of retracted paleontology papers[edit]

A new article intending to be a list of retracted paleontology papers. Frankly I can't figure out whether that is a good idea or not. Reasonable topic from one angle, weird SYNTH list from another. In some disciplines it would be a bottomless pit, but I suppose there is a possibility that retraction is relatively rare in paleontology. The editor has added secondary sources to these cases, which do show reasonable coverage. Any opinions? Not marking reviewed as of now. Ping: Carnoferox and Fram --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 10:57, 23 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Are there any reliable sources on the subject of "retracted paleontology papers"? If not, then this looks like an eclectic/idiosyncratic SYNTH collection. --Randykitty (talk) 14:19, 23 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • It would help to read the reference section of the page before commenting. I have added several independent, reliable sources which comment on these retractions. I could find more if necessary, but I don't want it to become excessive. Retractions have historically been extremely rare in paleontology, but they are becoming a notable problem lately. There have been 3 high-profile retractions in just the past 2 years. Carnoferox (talk) 15:51, 23 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • It would help to try to understand comments before making snarky remarks about them. Yes, each occurrence of fraud in this list has been sourced. What is missing are sources that show that the subject "retracted paleontology papers" is notable. Not the same thing. --Randykitty (talk) 16:50, 23 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Randykitty refers to the requirement to have some sources that treat the article topic as a unit - e.g., sources that comment on the fact you alluded to, that retractions in this discipline are becoming more common. That's the main requirement to avoid the WP:SYNTH trap; someone else must have done the basic synthesis into one topic already. Are there some sources like that? --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 16:57, 23 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This preprint is an example that I can add to the page.[1] Carnoferox (talk) 18:03, 23 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • A preprint is not something you cite, because it hasn't been peer-reviewed yet. And "publish or perish" is a modern phenomenon. It doesn't really apply to hoaxes like Piltdown Man... --Randykitty (talk) 18:40, 23 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Preprints can be cited if their authors are reliable sources (which they are in this case). It is no different than citing a non-peer-reviewed blog or science news website with reliable authors (e.g. Retraction Watch, National Geographic). Not sure what Piltdown Man has to do with this. These retractions are all recent and are relevant to modern science ethics, including "publish or perish" culture. Carnoferox (talk) 19:26, 23 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • You're making a list of retracted paleontology papers and you don't see the relevance of Piltdown Man??? --Randykitty (talk) 21:49, 23 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, I don't. The papers describing Piltdown Man were never retracted. Carnoferox (talk) 22:39, 23 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think this is the type of coverage we would be looking for; it does talk about the phenomenon of "retractions in paleontology". Two issues: a) preprints are to be avoided, for the dual reasons of the small but real possibility of them failing peer review (in which case we definitely don't want to use it), and probably being available in a published version a few months in anyway, so just wait for that... and b) we'd need multiple sources to establish that the topic-as-unit is a thing. So in the current state I would suggest moving this to draft until the linked paper is published and at least one similar item of coverage is presented, at which point it would seem acceptably sourced to me. (Don't know why Piltdown came in now - historical hoaxes != modern retractions)


WorldCat has changed its website and search machine. The immediate problem is that the OCLC numbers in our infoboxes don't work any more. Another problem is that I haven't been able to figure out how to find the entry for a particular journal (which we need to find the OCLC number and things like library holdings). Anybody else having the same problem or is it just me being too stupid?? --Randykitty (talk) 16:53, 4 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Randykitty I have no problem accessing the WorldCat entries for journals from their infobox, at least for now. SakurabaJun (talk) 23:33, 4 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I came here to say the same thing. Can you give an example of a page you are having problems with? I'm also not sure what your second problem is. Cheers! Merrilee (talk) 00:09, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Thanks for checking. I just checked the links where I had problems and now all seems to be in good order again. It must have been a temporary glitch. --Randykitty (talk) 06:20, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Glad the issue with Worldcat is solved. Just a note that it's often possible to easily retrieve metadata about journals from Internet Archive Scholar or fatcat: see for instance container page for Glossa. Nemo 11:10, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab)#How to categorize redirects due to garbage in database entries[edit]

Please participate. This would affect the categorization of several journal redirects. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 03:26, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Academic Journal Metrics - Why Only Impact Factor from Journal Citation Reports?[edit]

There's a discussion on my talk page whether we should abandon our long-standing practice not to include journal metrics, except the impact factor, in our articles on academic journals. I copy the discussion here, as this page is a better location for that discussion. --Randykitty (talk) 16:17, 9 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Discussion copied from Randykitty's talk page[edit]

Hello! You recently deleted an addition I made to the Wikipedia article for the journal Socius where I mentioned the CiteScore for the journal. You wrote "we only list the IF". Could you point me to where in the Wikipedia:WikiProject Academic Journals/Writing guide it says that Impact Factor is the only appropriate metric to mention? I see in the Writing guide instructions to include the Impact Factor but not it is the only metric that is appropriate to include. Thanks! Joeyvandernaald (talk) 04:18, 9 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • The problem is not just that already keeping one metric (the IF) up-to-date is a continuous battle, but that more importantly the IF is the metric that everybody cares about (for better or for worse). There are dozens of metrics, but have you ever heard a researcher say "let's publish in Journal of Foo, because that has a high CiteScore" (or h-index, or SNIP, or SJR, or Eigenfactor, or...)? Most likely not. Almost all academics aim for a journal with as high an impact factor as they can get. All those other metrics, even though some of them are possibly superior to the IF, are completely ignored. WP is supposed to follow what happens in real life, so we list the IF, but not the other metrics. --Randykitty (talk) 09:31, 9 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I agree that most researchers I'm familiar with (I'm an academic sociologist, so I mostly talk with social scientists) are concerned primarily with a journal's Impact Factor when making decisions about where to publish. But I'm not sure I agree that we can conclude a particular metric is significant or not based entirely on our anecdotal evidence or assumptions about what most researchers think. CiteScore is the leading contender to Impact Factor, and unlike Impact Factor is freely accessible. A cursory search through academic databases reveal several publications on CiteScore in journals like Scientometrics, and at one paper I could find notes that CiteScore created a separate subject area for a discipline that more accurately allows for scholars to measure significance (in the linked example above, the discipline is pharmacy). This would at the very least suggest that CiteScore is relevant to particular scholars in real life. Joeyvandernaald (talk) 13:49, 9 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • There's a difference between research on the validity or possible utility of some measures and that what a reality is being used. There's no shortage of articles/editorials/declarations criticizing the use/abuse of impact factors, thereby documenting the fact that they are, in fact, being used. We don't have such sources documenting that, say, the CiteScore is actually used by anybody. We may like it or not (I don't, I'm from the school where you choose a journal based on whether it allows you the public that's most likely to be interested in your stuff), but that is not relevant for WP. We don't give our opinion, we document general practice. --Randykitty (talk) 14:17, 9 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I still think your argument hinges on a kind of anecdotal understanding of what most researchers do or don't think is important. What would even be an example of an appropriate source that would "[document] that ... the CiteScore is actually used by anybody"? I can find examples of researchers on, say, Sociology Job Market Rumors (a commonly used, though controversial, forum in my discipline) where actual researchers weigh the value of journals based on their CiteScore. Surely this is documented evidence that real people in general practice use the metric, even if it isn't the dominant metric.
    Perhaps we should expand this conversation a little bit and get the opinions of other editors in the WikiProject? Joeyvandernaald (talk) 15:23, 9 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Further discussion[edit]

  • It seems quite important to include metrics that are comparable from article to article, at least across a wide subject discipline, otherwise publishers are just going to be finding the metric that makes their publication look best and repeatedly substituting that. At the moment, that's impact factor. I agree with Randykitty that the burden of updating the data is substantial and would tend to mitigate against including multiple factors. Somewhat cynical about any Elsevier-led initiative (I bet it makes their journals look better on average) and December 2016 is rather recent, cf IF's 1975. Espresso Addict (talk) 00:38, 11 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I’m not well versed in Wikipedia policy, so I’m not sure if this is considered a good argument, but I agree with Randykitty that there is a backlog of IF numbers to be updated so adding a new metric makes little sense for the AJ project as a whole.
As for CiteScore, although I’m aware of it, I have never heard another researcher mention it. Anecdotal evidence for sure, but adds to Randykitty’s point. I also concur with Espresso Addict’s skepticism for Elsevier. My understanding is also that CiteScore provides essentially the same information as IF, but it is less selective, which isn’t that great in my opinion. The only redeeming factor is that it’s freely available, but given all else, that’s not enough I think. SakurabaJun (talk) 02:00, 13 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2022 October 10#Category:International Digital Organization for Scientific Information academic journals[edit]

Please comment. This is related to the Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2019 January 31#Category:Academic journal categories containing exclusively redirects, of interest to this project. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 21:24, 10 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Association of University Presses needs attention![edit]

I created a stub as the easiest way to fix a bad redirect. Association of University Presses was incorrectly redirecting to International Association of University Presses which is a different organization. Both of these pages need review. I've done what I could to reference AUP quickly from web sources, but I'm hoping somebody can improve this! Jodi.a.schneider (talk) 00:02, 18 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It appears the AUP already has a page, but with the former name Association of American University Presses. SakurabaJun (talk) 00:27, 18 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oops, I didn't check for that. I'd welcome a merge of these, or even just a redirect to the older page if relevant! Jodi.a.schneider (talk) 16:03, 18 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think the long-existing article at Association of American University Presses should probably be moved to Association of University Presses, and a hatnote added to point to the IAUP (which appears possibly defunct, certainly much less significant). It'll need a request at WP:RM unless there's a friendly page-mover around. PamD
I've added a logo to the existing article, so if it is moved, the "Fair Use" rationale will need to be updated - but it seemed worth doing while I thought about it. PamD 19:45, 18 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Impact factor changes[edit]

Up till now, only journals included in the Science Citation Index Expanded and the Social Sciences Citation Index get included in the Journal Citation Reports and hence obtain an impact factor. As of next year, journals included in the Arts and Humanities Citation Index and the Emerging Sources Citation Index will also be included in the JCR and obtain an IF. Up till now, we regard inclusion in the first three indices mentioned above as evidence for notability, but not inclusion in the ESCI. Personally, I don't think that this change of policy by Clarivate should change the way we determine notability: all that need change is that journals included in ESCI but notable because of inclusion elsewhere (Scopus, for example) will get an IF listed in their infobox. However, other editors here may have a different opinion, if so, let us know here. --Randykitty (talk) 13:55, 26 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agree that ESCI isn't enough. AHCI is fine though. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 14:35, 26 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]