Wikipedia:Notability (academic journals)

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This guideline is meant to reflect consensus about the notability of academic journals, conference proceedings, monographic series, and other scholarly serial publications (including grey literature) devoted to reporting the results of scholarly research. For the sake of simplicity, all such publications will be referred as 'journals' in this guideline, unless otherwise noted. Non-scholarly publications, such as trade magazines and professional society newsletters are instead covered by WP:NMAG.

A notable journal thus refers to a publication being known for its publishing of scholarly research in the spirit of WP:GNG. These criteria are independent from the other subject-specific notability guidelines, such as WP:NBIO, WP:NORG, etc. Journals found to be notable under these criteria are likely to be reliable sources, but are not necessarily so. Journals could be known for being historically influential in an area of research now considered obsolete, or even in influential in a pseudo-scientific field. It is possible for a journal not to be notable under this guideline but still meet WP:GNG for other reasons.

Note that this is a guideline, not a rule; exceptions may well exist. It is also possible for a journal to be notable according to this standard and yet not be an appropriate topic for an article in Wikipedia because of a lack of independent reliable sources on the subject (see Wikipedia:Verifiability). Every topic on Wikipedia must be one for which sources exist; however, most journals nowadays have home pages which may be used as sources for uncontroversial information. If the journal can be considered a reliable source, this will be often be sufficient to create a stub on a particular journal, even in the absence of other sources.

Basic notability[edit]

No inherent notability[edit]

Notable means "worthy of being noted" or "attracting notice". It is not synonymous with "fame" or "importance". Please consider notable and demonstrable effects on culture, society, entertainment, athletics, economies, history, literature, science, or education. Major journals are likely to have more readily available verifiable information from reliable sources that provide evidence of notability; however, smaller journal can be also be notable if they can be considered to be influential in their field.

Even if editors personally believe a journal is "important" or "inherently notable", journals are only accepted as notable if they have attracted notice in reliable sources. The fact that an journal exists is by itself not enough to support notability. Hundreds if not thousand of publications can exist in each field, many of them short-lived, while others amount to nothing more than predatory open access publishing scams. A journal can be considered notable if it can be demonstrated to have significant coverage in the media, or demonstrated to have a significant impact in its field. This is usually verified through the journal's inclusion in selective indexing and abstracting services and other selective bibliographic databases.

No inherited notability[edit]

In the sense that a journal has been published, it may have been noted by various entities like the ISSN International Centre and WorldCat, who assign and compile information about serial publications. For the purposes of this guideline, notable means having attracted significant notice in the spirit of WP:GNG. No journal is exempt from this requirement. If the journal has received no or very little notice from independent sources or from the academic community, then it is not notable even though other journals in its field are commonly notable. Likewise a journal published by a notable organization does not necessarily mean that the journal is notable. Likewise, just because the journal is indexed in a bibliographic database does not ensure notability. Several database, like the Directory of Open Access Journals, aim for being comprehensive, and will index almost everything they can, regardless of impact or significance. It is not the job of Wikipedia to needlessly duplicate content in these databases.

This guideline does not prohibit the creation or maintenance of list articles that contain information about non-notable journals. However, such lists are still subject to Wikipedia's content policies, such as verifiability and no original research, and editorial decisions to exclude non-notable journals from such list can apply.


If a journal meets any of the following criteria, as substantiated through independent reliable sources, it qualifies for a stand-alone article. If a journal meets none of these criteria, it may still qualify for a stand-alone article, if it meets the conditions of WP:Notability or other notability criteria. The merits of an article on the journal will depend largely on the extent to which the material is verifiable through third-party sources. However, see the remarks section below before applying this guideline.

Criterion 1: The journal is considered by reliable sources to be influential in its subject area.
Criterion 2: The journal is frequently cited by other reliable sources.
Criterion 3: The journal is historically important in its subject area.

It is possible for a journal to qualify for a stand-alone article according to this standard and yet not actually be an appropriate topic for coverage in Wikipedia because of a lack of reliable, independent sources on the subject. Independent, third-party sources must exist for every topic that receives its own article on Wikipedia, without exception (see Wikipedia:Verifiability: "If no reliable third-party sources can be found on a topic, Wikipedia should not have an article on it."). For the routine, uncontroversial details of a journal, official institutional and professional sources are accepted.


General remarks
G.a) Journals dedicated to promoting pseudo-science and marginal or fringe theories will often not meet any of C1, C2 or C3. However, they may still be notable under the Wikipedia:GNG, WP:NFRINGE, or other guidelines.
Criterion 1 (C1)
1.a) Journal size is not a consideration here. Simply having published a large number of academic works is not considered sufficient to satisfy C1. The reverse is also true, a journal having published only a few articles is not necessarily disqualified by this.
1.b) The most typical way of satisfying C1 is to show that the journal is included in selective citation indices, indexing services, and bibliographic databases. Examples of such services are Science Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index, and Scopus. Being included in comprehensive (i.e. non-selective) indices and services like Google Scholar and the Directory of Open Access Journals are not sufficient to establish notability.
1.c) For the purpose of C1, having an impact factor assigned by Journal Citation Reports always qualifies.
Criterion 2 (C2)
2.a) C2 may be satisfied, for example, if the journal is frequently quoted in conventional media (e.g. The New York Times) as an expert source in a particular area. A small number of quotations, especially in local news media or blogs, is not unexpected for academic journals and so falls short of this mark.
2.b) The only reasonably accurate way of finding citations to journals are via bibliographic databases and citation indices, such as general services like Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar, or field-specific services like Astrophysics Data System, MathSciNet, Chemical Abstracts, International Bibliography of the Social Sciences, and PubMed. The comprehensiveness of the coverage varies by field, geography, language, and thus the threshold for constitute "frequently cited" varies by field. A journal's h-index is a useful metric, although can be hard to reliably obtain for the above reason, and again needs to be compared against what constitute high h-index in the journal's field.
2.c) For journals in humanities, the existing citation indices and Google Scholar often provide inadequate and incomplete information. In these cases, one can also look at how frequently the journal is held in various academic libraries when evaluating whether C2 is satisfied. This information is often available in Worldcat, but other sources can be found on the book sources page, at the Karlsruhe Virtual Catalog, or at the Zeitschriftendatenbank. Data on library holdings need to be interpreted in the light of what can be expected for the specific subject.
Criterion 3 (C3)
3.a) Journal age is not a consideration here. While there is a correlation between age and notability, simply having published academic works for a long period of time is not considered sufficient to satisfy C3. The reverse is also true, a recently established journal is not necessarily disqualified by this.
3.b) C3 may be satisfied for both current and defunct journals. Journals that have been the focus of historical analysis can be covered under this criterion. An example of a journal that would qualify by C3 alone would be Social Text, for the historical role it played in the Sokal affair.
3.c) It should be noted that journals that pass C3 will almost always pass WP:GNG directly.

Best practices[edit]

Dealing with non-notable journals[edit]

Many journals are non-notable by themselves, but are published by notable organizations. While a journal may not be worthy of having its own article, it can be helpful to include some information about the journal in the publisher's article. For instance the Nepali Mathematical Sciences Report is one of the publications of the Nepal Mathematical Society, and while the society is notable own its own, this journal is not. But since the journal is an important part of the society's activity, the article on the society should mention the journal.

Consensus may also be that while a certain journal is notable on its own, it is best to cover the material in another article (for example, on the publisher's article). This is a matter of editorial judgement, and the guideline takes no stance on whether it is best for a journal to have its own article, or if it is best to cover the journal as a section of another article.

Journal series[edit]

Some journals are published in sections (for example, the Trends series of journals). Although such sections may be listed individually in some databases, it can be preferable to cover them together in one single article (for example, Nuclear Physics A & B) simply because there is not a lot to say about individual sections. On the other hand, some such sections become very prominent in their own way, and can be covered in a separate article (for example, the Journal of Physics series).

Supplement series are also best covered in their associated journal's article, hence why The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series is covered The Astrophysical Journal.

Failing all criteria[edit]

If no criteria can be met for either a standalone article or inclusion in a more general article, then there are two deletion procedures to be considered:[a]

  • For articles that do not meet the criteria for speedy deletion (WP:CSD#A7 especially), but are uncontroversial deletion candidates, place {{subst:PROD|concern=REASON TO DELETE}} at the top of the article. This allows the article to be deleted after 7 days if nobody objects (see Wikipedia:Proposed deletion, or PROD).
  • For cases where you are unsure about deletion or believe others might object, nominate the article for the Articles for deletion process (or AfD), where its merits will be discussed for 7 days.

When nominating an article for deletion (via either PROD or AfD process), please place {{WikiProject Academic Journals}} at the top of its talk page, as well as any other relevant Wikiproject templates (e.g. {{WikiProject Economics}} for an economics journal). This will notify WikiProject Academic Journals via WP:AALERTS that the article is being considered for deletion. If using the AfD process, you can also tag the deletion discussion with {{subst:delsort|Academic journals|~~~~}}, which will list the discussion at Wikipedia:WikiProject Deletion sorting/Academic journals.


  1. ^ Wikipedia editors have been known to reject nominations for deletion that have been inadequately researched. Research should include attempts to find sources that might demonstrate notability, and/or information that would demonstrate notability in another manner.

See also[edit]