In the open access class, Dean Depauw mentioned that there was a common misunderstanding that articles from open access sources often link with low quality. I want to share with you my opinion about how we can evaluate a quality of an article more objectively. The impact factor of a journal is just one of many factors to be considered when you are evaluating a quality of an article. Ask yourself these following questions when you are reading the article:
- Who are authors of the article?
- What is the author’s affiliation?
- Are these authors experts in the field of this article?
- How many articles they have published? Have the articles they published been read/downloaded/cited?
- How long have they researched the subject of this article? Although the number of years they have been working does not always correlate to the quality of their research, but it is still a good aspect to consider. You can also access to the authors’ website to know more about them and their research.
- Was there a peer-review process for the article before it is published?
- Did the authors clearly document information and cite the source?
- Did the authors cite reliable sources?
- Did the authors address multiple points of view about the subject in the article?
- Did the author clearly describe their materials and methods?
- Was the article conclusion based on reliable and logical results?
- Were these results consistent with other studies? If they were different from other studies, did they discuss possible reasons?
- Were there any assumptions in the article?
- Did the article show any bias?
- Who provided the financial support for the study? Did the results in the article affect the financial support agency?
- Was the article free of spelling and/or grammatical mistakes? Although spelling and grammatical mistakes have been seen in reputable sources, concerns about the quality of the article should be placed if there are a lot of errors.
- Have there been retractions or changes related to the content made by the authors?
If you have anything to add, please do.