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Journal Publishing - Select a Journal

Considerations

  • Audience - other scholars in your field, practitioners, policy makers, or some other group?
  • Prestige - balance the desire to publish in a high-prestige journal against the likelihood of your paper being accepted by that journal
  • Timetable - how long will the process take?
  • Cost - are there article processing charges or page charges?
  • Other - requirements specific to that journal as outlined in the instructions to authors, e.g. article length, number of figures allowed, registration of clinical trials

 

Identify Potentially Relevant Journals

You will already be familiar with some journals based on the journals that you routinely read, the journals in your bibliography, or other journals that you've found while searching PubMed or Google Scholar. Here are some tools to expand your list of journals you might consider publishing in.

Examine Journal Quality Indicators

These databases can also help you identify additional journals to examine. 

Avoid Predatory Publishers

Journals searching for authors or editorial board members may email scholars suggesting that they contribute. Sometimes these requests come from legitimate publishers, in other cases the publisher is attempting to collect author fees without providing adequate journal services, such as peer review and editorial oversight. Here are some possible indicators of a predatory publisher:

  • URL doesn't work and you can't google an alternative
  • poor grammar and spelling on the journal web site
  • fewer than 10 articles published by the journal, ever, or no recent articles published
  • unknown editorial board
  • unaffiliated with a known publisher, known society, or university
  • extremely broad scope

One of these characteristics does not by itself indicate a predatory publisher. Look at the big picture.

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Confirm Audience, Quality, and Publisher Requirements

When selecting journals as potential publishing venues, the journal website itself contains valuable information, such as:

  • Journal aims and scope, which will include a description of that journal's intended audience.
  • Type of articles published, for example original research, case studies, brief reports, or review articles.
  • Length of time from article submission to publication.
  • Copyright and open access options
  • Publisher requirements such as clinical trial registration or data publication

This information can be found on the journal web site in different locations depending on the publisher. Locations include author instructions, guide for authors, or submit a manuscript. Examining articles published in recent issues can also be illustrative.

Improve Discoverability, Accessibility, and Impact