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CS 2315: Computer Ethics

This course guide was created for Dr. Vicki Almstrum's CS 2315 Computer Ethics course

Peer Review Check

Found an article and you're not sure if it's from a peer-reviewed journal? Check Ulrichsweb.

Type in the journal title or ISSN. If you see the image of a referee's jersey Icon of a referee's jersey from ulrichswebnext to the name, you know the journal is "refereed" - also known as "peer reviewed".

Subject-specific Databases

Checking quality

It's easy to get duped on the web (news flash, right?).

Characteristics of bogus journals (multiple of these characteristics is a big red flag):

Easy things for you to check:

  • Spelling and grammar errors in articles and on the journal's website
  • A very vague journal title like "Journal of Advanced Research"
    • Most (not all) academic journals are very specific
  • When you look at articles published, they seem to be all over the place - some medical, some technical, some social, etc.
    • Again, most academic journals have a specific target
  • Their website brags about being indexed in Google Scholar
    • Really? Google indexes everything!
  • Lots of issues per month or lots and lots of articles per issue.

What to do if you see a red flag:

  • The easiest thing to check is to go to the library's website and search under "Periodical List" for the journal. If the library has it, the chances are much higher that it's a quality journal.
  • Check Cabell'sJournalytics (use NetID) - it lists out specifically "safe" journals. Anything new (newer than 1-2 years), even if it's great, would not be included, though. 


Peer-review, explained

Using the Library's Search Box