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Integrative Biology

This guide is designed to help researchers in integrative biology navigate library and information-related resources.

Evaluating Journals

Evaluating on Open Science

The Transparency and Openness Promotion Guidelines, or TOP Guidelines, are a set of 8 standards that signal support for openness and transparency in scientific publishing. The standards include: 

  • Citation Standards
  • Data Transparency
  • Analytic Methods (Code) Transparency
  • Design and Analysis Transparency
  • Study Preregistration
  • Analysis Plan Preregistration 
  • Replication

Each standard has defined levels of adherence associated. Journals that are embracing the Guidelines and see a need for improved transparency can become signatories to the TOP Guidelines. 

Search Top Factor

Search for a journal to evaluate it based on the TOP Guidelines.

Evaluating Predatory Behavior

Predatory journals are publishing venues that are dishonest about their policies including peer-review. Because there are so many new journals starting to publish it can be difficult to identify which journals to stay away from. If you are questioning whether a specific journal is reputable the following tips may help. When in doubt, contact a librarian!

Use library tools:

  • Are they actually indexed in the databases they claim to be on their website? Such as the Web of Science or PubMed.
  • Are they listed on UlrichsWeb, a library tool for tracking serials?

Use your judgment:

  • Do you recognize the names and reputations of their editorial members?
  • Have you read articles from the journal? Are they suspect?
  • Are the articles, including figures and graphs of high quality?
  • Do you identify typos in the content?

Use lists (but sparingly):

  • DOAJ - highly vetted resource listing open access journals
  • Beall's List (archived version) - dated and imperfect list.


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