"Mainstream" physics is a requirement of the Physics SE site and the definition of "mainstream" is in terms of "reputable" journals. There are a lot of journals that cover or intersect with physics. What are the criteria for reputability?

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    $\begingroup$ Hi James. The meta if for questions about how the Physics SE site works. Questions about physics need to go on the main site. However this wouldn't be a question about physics and would be closed on the main site. You could ask on the Academia SE, or possibly in the physics chat room. $\endgroup$ Nov 17 '17 at 16:47
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    $\begingroup$ "Mainstream" physics is a requirement of the Physics SE site and the definition of "mainstream" is in terms of "reputable" journals. Really, this should be in the FAQ. $\endgroup$ Nov 17 '17 at 19:39
  • $\begingroup$ That's a question about the practice of doing science, in particular about one of its sociological aspects: what gets accepted by the community. You can't have a clear-cut criterion for that, it's a judgment call. Practicing scientists sometimes won't even agree on the reputability of big journals - like with PLOS ONE, which doesn't consider the expected impact of a paper for acceptance, and has a mix of papers from the very good to the very bad. At the moment it's considered a career risk for junior researchers, but it's a favorite of a few established ones. Is it reputable? $\endgroup$
    – stafusa
    Nov 17 '17 at 22:41
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    $\begingroup$ "Mainstream" or "reputable" is determined by consensus/majority decision. We won't give exact criteria for this because the only thing it would do is encourage adherents of non-mainstream physics to go full rules lawyer on these. $\endgroup$
    – ACuriousMind Mod
    Nov 17 '17 at 23:43
  • $\begingroup$ That's reasonable. Many questions posed to Physics SE are from those who are not particularly steeped in the culture of the physics community. Perhaps for their benefit it would be good to let them know that "mainstream" is really a subjective judgement of "reputability" by physicists. Moreover, for those insisting on an operational definition here, it is in the opinion of those with Physics SE reputation. $\endgroup$ Nov 18 '17 at 1:10
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    $\begingroup$ A reasonable proxy for “mainstream and reputable” is being indexed on Web of Science. By construction this will not capture new journals, but then they don’t really have a reputation to speak of until a few years. $\endgroup$ Nov 18 '17 at 2:54
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the meta reference. Getting registered to use Web of Science seems to be problematic for those not affiliated with an "institution". $\endgroup$ Nov 19 '17 at 18:57
  • $\begingroup$ @JamesBowery a list of journals indexed in WoS is probably easy to find. You might search for a list of ISI impact factors, which is a measured determined from WoS. $\endgroup$ Nov 19 '17 at 21:23
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks. Found it. mjl.clarivate.com $\endgroup$ Nov 20 '17 at 15:50
  • $\begingroup$ @JamesBowery Nice find! $\endgroup$ Nov 21 '17 at 2:28
  • $\begingroup$ there was some recent discussion in chat. criteria include real peer review, not "pay to publish" etc cf en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beall%27s_List but also ties in with nonmainstream science policy physics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4538/… see also en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demarcation_problem $\endgroup$
    – vzn
    Oct 11 '18 at 17:51

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