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Open Acesss Publishing: What is a Q1 Journal?

What is a Q1 Journal?

An open lock symbol, logo for Open AccessThe university administration has set a guideline that journals must be rated as Q1 to receive financial support. Q1 is shorthand for the "first quartile" or the top 25% of a subject area. These ratings are updated yearly and usually run on a three or four year cycle (i.e. they rate journals based on their performance over the last three or four years). This means that journals that are less than four years old are usually still unrated, even if they are very hgh quality. We always look at the last completed rating.

There are several groups that rate academic journals, and the standard that the university administration has set is that a journal will be considered as Q1 if it is rated as such by all three of the following rating groups: Scopus, Scimago, and Web of Science/Clarivate. So, for example, if a journal is rated as Q1 by Scopus and Web of Science but rated as Q2 by Scimago, then it would not be eligible for support.

The steps to determine if a journal is rated as Q1 by each of these is slightly different, and is explained below.

Scopus

To check a journal's ranking in Scopus, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Scopus from the library E-resources page
  2. On the Scopus page, click "Sources" and enter the name of the journal that you are looking up.
    Scopus Screenshot
  3. Click on "Find Sources". When the search is complete, you should see your journal listed. Click on the title to display the detailed information. Scroll to the bottom of that page to see the "Citerank Score" for the most recent year.
    Scopus Screenshot

In this case, you can see that Scopus has ranked "International Journal of Chemical Engineering" at the 48th percentile for the subject area of "General Chemical Engineering". This would mean that this is a Q2 journal, as rated by Scopus. Percentiles 1 to 25 are Q1, 26 to 50 are Q2, and so on.

Scimago

To check a journal's ranking in Scimago, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Scimago homepage
  2. Enter the name of the journal that you are looking for.
  3. Click on the journal from the search results.
  4. Scroll down to the "Quartiles" section of the page
  5. Scimago uses a color system to display the information. Green is Q1, Yellow for Q2, Orange for Q3, and Red for Q4. You can also hover over a year to see the quartile. You can see from this display that the "International Journal of Chemical Engineering" is rated as Q3 in the category of "Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)" for 2020, and Q2 for previous years.

Scimago Screenshot

Web of Science/Clarivate

To check a journal's ranking in Web of Science/Clarivate, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Web of Science from the library E-resources page
  2. On the WoS page, click on "Products" at the top right of the site. Click on "Journal Citation Reports".
    Web of Science Screenshot
  3. Search for the title of the journal that you are looking for. Click on the title from the search results.
  4. Scroll down to the "Rank by Journal Impact Factor" section. There you will see the quartile of the journal for recent years.
    Web of Science Screenshot

As you can see from this display, WoS/Clarivate ranks the "International Journal of Chemical Engineering" as Q3 for both 2019 and 2020.

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Khalifa University OA Policy

The KU Open Access Policy is in the approval process. It will be published here when it is approved.