I have recently come across this journal International Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Applications(IJACSA)

The journal provides acceptance notification within 15 days. This raised red flags, but then I performed a Scholar Search for thesai.org and seems that most of their papers have decent citations. So, how reliable is scholar search when evaluating the quality of a journal or how to interpret the results from scholar search ?

EDIT: As pointed out by Nate Eldredge in Publishing again acknowledging the original publication of oneself this journal is on Beall's List of Predatory Open-Access Publishers. But this again raises the question how reliable is scholar search then or what are ways to search reliably for a research papers.


4 Answers 4


Even in case you generally accept numerical measures such as citation counts or the h-index as a measure of quality, Google Scholar seems to be rather unreliable in them. In the case of evaluating individual authors, let me cite the Wikipedia article on Google Scholar:

Vulnerability to spam — Google Scholar is vulnerable to spam.[26] Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley and Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg demonstrated that citation counts on Google Scholar can be manipulated and complete non-sense articles created with SCIgen were indexed from Google Scholar.[27] They concluded that citation counts from Google Scholar should only be used with care especially when used to calculate performance metrics such as the h-index or impact factor. Google Scholar started computing an h-index in 2012 with the advent of individual Scholar pages. Several downstream packages like Harzing's Publish or Perish also use its data.[28] The practicality of manipulating h-index calculators by spoofing Google Scholar was demonstrated in 2010 by Cyril Labbe from Joseph Fourier University, who managed to rank "Ike Antkare" ahead of Albert Einstein by means of a large set of SCIgen-produced documents citing each other (effectively an academic link farm).[29]

I'm not aware of a case where this has been exploited by a predatory journal, but if a publisher wants to do that, it doesn't seem to be too difficult.


By "decent citations" I assume you are referring to quantity. Attempting to determine the significance of a journal by the number of citations is a very bad idea; see for instance this paper showing that such things can be very misleading.

Just ask any experienced researcher in your field; if they're not familiar with the journal, you should probably stay away.

  • Potentially an even worse idea is attempting to determine the significance of a piece of research based on the significance of the journal it is published in.
    – StrongBad
    Aug 25, 2013 at 16:10

IJACSA has been accepted for indexing in the Thomson Reuters Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), a new edition of Web of Science launching in 2015. and its not indexed in SCI or SCIE. If you are looking for journal indexed in SCI or SCIE, IJACSA is not the journal.


  • This is not answer to the question: "how reliable is scholar search when evaluating the quality of a journal or how to interpret the results from scholar search ?"
    – Nobody
    Jul 16, 2016 at 14:22

The reputation of certain journal depends on the fact that who are the peoples who publish their work in that journal. If they are reputable peoples then off course the journal is reputable and hence is reliable. Now how could one guess about the reputation of peoples publishing in that journal?? Well that is the real thing that comes from years of research experience and your supervisor can help you on that. The citation metric are not only sufficient. I have seen math journal with impact factor in fractions are much superior to journal with 3+ impact factor.

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