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- 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
SCImago Journal Rank
Based not only on the number of citations to the cited journal, but also on the Journal Rank of the citing journals. Uses Scopus as a data source.
Journal Citation Reports Impact Factors
To arrive at the impact factor ISI examines articles (citable items) published by a journal in the previous two years and determines the number of citations to those articles in the current year. It then divides that number by the number of all citable items published by the journal in the previous two years.
Uses Web of Science as a data source.
Similar to SCImago Journal Rank, but uses Web of Science as a data source.
Google Scholar H5 Index
The largest number h such that h articles published by the journal in the last 5 years have at least h citations each.
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.
See more at Think Check Submit
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
Ulrich's reports on individual journal characteristics, such as which databases index the journal. Information related to journal quality is also listed, including whether a journal is peer reviewed, scholarly, trade, or popular and who the publisher is.
NLM Catalog: Journals referenced in the NCBI Databases
Can also limit to journals currently indexed by PubMed.
Well-known medical and health sciences journals available to low-income countries for free or for a reduced cost.
Well-known journals and other subscription based publications in health (HINARI), agriculture (AGORA), the environment (AORI) and science and technology (ARDI), available to low-income countries for free or for a reduced cost.
Publisher copyright policies, including whether and when your article can be available for no cost to scholars.
ScholarWorks @ UVM
UVM's Institutional Repository. Allows UVM faculty to deposit scholarly articles that can be made available free of charge to other scholars.