The development of a ranking tool for refereed journals in which nursing and midwifery researchers publish their work
Publication in quality journals has long been a yardstick for measuring academic performance, although there is a divergence of opinions as to how to define and measure “journal quality”. For some time the primary tools for assessing journal quality have been the ISI Journal Citation Reports and the Journal Impact Factors (JIFs), although it has been argued that these are less appropriate for practical disciplines such as nursing midwifery. In order to accurately reflect the nature of nursing and midwifery as a discipline, given the inherent flaws of using just one indicator of journal quality to assess performance overall, this project was designed to develop a tool which combined both objective and subjective methods to produce a ranking system which is specifically relevant to the disciplines of nursing and midwifery. This project succeeded in developing the Journal Evaluation Tool (JET), through extensive consultations with experts in the fields of nursing and midwifery. This tool may overcome some problems associated with the sole use of the journal impact factor, and may be utilised as an alternative measure of journal quality. The new tool was tested using a sample of 52 responding journals; and has now been disseminated to nursing and midwifery bodies in Australia and New Zealand, along with instructions for its use and recommendations for future research.