13

There are plenty of journals and conferences in my research area. And there are things we could look up in advance, like impact factor, journal rank and so on.

But I would like to find a place where I could put my personal experience with the journal (or conference).

For instance, in Amazon the customers can review and criticize the books they read. In my country there is a site where you can complaint about any company that failed to satisfy the customer (a flight company, a magazine, a bank, etc).

One could argue that this would be unfair to the people that invest their time as editors or reviewers, but in my opinion it is a two-way relationship. Things like waiting one year without an answer from editors, poor review or evasive answers, is a disrespect to a research group who invests a lot of time as well.

So, is there a place where one could respectfully give a review and share their experience with a journal or conference?

7

There are a few sites that do this:

Of these, I think SciRev is the most active, but I'm not certain about this. That said, in my experience, the actual rating information on these is not of much value. Uptake is pretty slow, and most of the reviews I've seem to just very high marks indiscriminately. As a result, you can't infer too much from the tiny sample sizes available. The information about time to result, review quality, etc. might be useful in principle, but in practice again you've got tiny sample sizes and probably a selection bias as well in terms of who submits reviews -- though I don't know which way this selection bias would go.

Nature wrote a news piece (not paywalled) about these sites in early 2015.

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3

I would like to provide an update on what Corvus already wrote back in 2015. The URLs provided are not alive anymore, it is only SciRev that I could find, on a new domain: SciRev.org

As Corvus remarked, quality scores are questionable, but I found review period feedback useful. SciRev still has very small sample size for journals of my interest, but even with 3-4 reviews, coming from different users - you get at least some idea on the timing. In my perception, reported time periods tend to converge - therefore, it can serve you as somewhat valid indication.

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0

In addition to SciRev, the review site already mentioned in previous answers, there is the Humanities Journal Wiki.

SciRev is broader in scope, and while it does contain entries for humanities journals, the site seems to concentrate on the sciences. SciRev is also highly structured: users wishing to review a journal fill out largely quantitative questionnaires on the review process, which are then used to produce statistics on review times, submitter satisfaction, etc. It's also possible to submit free-form reviews, though these are optional and go through a vetting process before being published on the website. This process can take some time; of the two reviews I submitted last week, one was published within a few days and the other still hasn't been published. Overall I like the concept and design of the site, though for most of the journals I'm interested in, there are next to no submitted reviews.

By contrast, the Humanities Journal Wiki is limited in scope to humanities journals. It's a wiki that anyone can edit, even without registration—this lowers the bar to participation, which probably explains why the site seems a lot more active than SciRev. Since all reviews are free-form, it's not possible to quantitatively compare journals, and reviews are wildly different in terms of what information they provide. On the whole, though, I find it to be more useful for choosing a submission venue.

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