Centre for Journalology

Journal Transparency Tool

We are developing a Journal Transparency tool that can help stakeholders detect predatory characteristics of journals.

We envision this tool will provide information about a given journal’s operations and transparency practices. Stakeholders could then use this information to make a more informed decision about whether they want to interact with the journal or not (e.g., read it, submit to it, cite work published there). Journals could use the tool to benchmark and set goals to increase the transparency of their operations. This tool is being developed to collate journal information in an automated manner.

We anticipate using programming and leveraging existing application programming interfaces (APIs) from relevant websites to develop the tool.

This video briefly highlights the reasons why we want to develop a transparency tool, key results from our patient survey, and how the focus groups will work in the patient study.

Mock-up which operationalizes some of the features of the consensus definition of predatory journals.

A user-centered design

We are employing a user-centered design strategy, in which our three broad stakeholder groups are working with the research team to iteratively develop a tool that best meets their needs.

To do this, we are currently conducting three separate studies with each of our stakeholder groups: Patients, Publishers, and Researchers/Clinicians

Project Timeline

In the first part of this study, we conducted a survey to gauge how patients and the public use the internet to obtain health information. We then conducted a series of online focus groups (with a subset of survey respondents) to get more in-depth feedback on the look and feel of the transparency tool and to determine how it may be useful to the patient population. An overview of these results are provided below.

For more detailed descriptions, you can view this powerpoint presentation of the survey.
For more detailed descriptions, you can view this powerpoint presentation of the focus group results.


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