How can you find the top journals in a scientific field? I am an HCI graduate student, but I sometimes write to industrial engineering articles if it involves ergonomics. Right now, I'm trying to understand what standing the journal "IIE Transactions" has compared to other journals in the field of industrial engineering.

I was told that the impact factor is not a good indicator to find top journals. What other indicators are useful for identifing top journals within specific fields, like industrial engineering?

  • @EnergyNumbers Somewhat agree. However, that question (and some answers) are mainly dealing with how to avoid predatory journals/find respectable ones. I could imagine that slightly different anwers might come to a Q asking for ways to find the top journals within a field. This Q could be rephrased to be more general though. Commented Jan 20, 2014 at 22:24
  • The title of this post is "how do I find top journals?", but the text ends with the question "what indicators are used to judge journals?" If judging by the former, this is not a dupe, if by the latter it is. @james, do you want to clarify this question?
    – eykanal
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 4:06
  • By experience. By reading papers from different journals and evaluating their levels, if found a good one you can check that where does the authors of that paper published their other works. By checking that that where does the famous people of world in the same major as you publish their works.
    – m123
    Commented Mar 28 at 15:29

2 Answers 2


There are problems with the Impact factor, but to find top journals in a field (as in leading/high reputation) the IF (relative to others in the field) is usually a good proxy. The problem with IF is mainly that it is a fairly poor predictor of citations to individual papers. Alternative journal rankings can be found at SCimago and Eigenfactor. However, I do not have any knowledge about HCI and industrial engineering in particular.

Beside @MatthewG recommendation to talk to your advisor, I would also suggest that you look at what you are reading and what journals the papers you are citing are published in. This is usually a good way to find suitable journals.


Talk to your advisor about this. They will have a very good mental model of what the publication landscape in the area looks like.

Sometimes, lists like this exist for your field, however they largely just reproduce intuitions your supervisor would already have.

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