How to choose journals for submitting your paper

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There are some common criteria you should consider when choosing a journal to publish in. Once you have a publication strategy in place, choose journals that meet all of your criteria.

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How to choose journals for submitting your paper

  1. 1. How to choose journals for submitting your paper Helping you get published
  2. 2. How to choose journals for submitting your paper It is crucial that you select a peer-reviewed journal which will present your research in the best way and convey it to the right target audience. And of course, the list of journals you have published in can directly and indirectly affect you career advancement, professional reputation, and funding opportunities. Given below are several criteria that we have found to be the most important in accurately selecting a peer-reviewed journal for manuscript submission.
  3. 3. How to choose journals for submitting your paper Is there a match between the subject of your article and the journals aim and scope? 1 The most common yet avoidable reason for journal rejection is mismatch between the manuscript and the journal aims and scope. 1First and foremost, determine whether the subject matter of your articlematches that of the journal. Consider the sort of research that thejournal focuses on. Is it theoretical (e.g., Acta Biotheoretica) or applied(e.g., Annals of Applied Biology)? Is the range of articles sought by thejournal broad-based or very narrow in focus?Journals are usually very specific about their subject area. Within thesubject area also, the journal may focus only on a particular aspect ofthat subject. For example, Histopathology and The Journal of Pathologyare two much respected journals which focus on different aspects of thesame subject, namely, pathology. Histopathology is intended to be ofpractical value to surgical and diagnostic histopathologists, while theJournal of Pathology contains articles about the pathophysiological andpathogenetic mechanisms of human disease.
  4. 4. How to choose journals for submitting your paper Is there a match between the subject of your article and the journals aim and scope? 1 The most common yet avoidable reason for journal rejection is mismatch between the manuscript and the journal aims and scope. 1Finally, confirm that the journal accepts the article type youintend to submit. For example, if your paper is a case study,check that the journal publishes case reports. Submission to ajournal that does not accept the type of article you’ve writtengives you an almost 100% chance that the manuscript will berejected.
  5. 5. How to choose journals for submitting your paper 2 What is the readership and target audience?The following factors should be assessed:Multidisciplinary journal. If, for example, your paper could havea bearing on public policy or could change the way nurses handlepatient care, then choose a broad-based journal that reaches awide and non-technical audience.Specialty journal. If your paper is highly specialized or technical,you’ll do better to publish in a journal with a small but veryspecific target audience. Reaching the right readership cansometimes be more important than reaching a wide readership.How popular is the journal among your peers? Talking toestablished colleagues will help you assess whether the journal iswidely read among your peers.
  6. 6. The impact factor and other measures of journal prestige 3 Is the journal highly visible?Once your paper is published, it should be easy to find by otherresearchers. Journal visibility plays an important role in thisregard.1.Is the journal included in electronic databases? Is the journalindexed in ISI’s Web of Science? Is it indexed in the popularsubject-specific databases in your field (like EconLit orPsychINFO)? This improves the visibility of your research in yourchosen field of research and may also increase the number oftimes your article is cited.2.Is the journal available online? Publishing in journals that areonly circulated in print can seriously limit the number of peoplecoming across or reading your work.
  7. 7. How to choose journals for submitting your paper 4 What is the “CV value of publication”?Some authors put a premium on journal prestige. Here are some factors to consider.1. Editorial board members. Prestigious journals usually have eminent researchers as members of their Editorial Board. Visit the journal website to check the names on the Editorial Board. Are the Board members well-known in your field of study?2. Journal sponsorship. Is the journal owned or sponsored by a prestigious society in your field?3. What is the journals impact factor? Don’t just look at the actual impact factor, since impact factor values vary by field. Consider the impact factor relative to those of similar journals within your field.4. Talk to senior, established colleagues. Which journals do they regularly read? Which journals do they feel have a high standard of articles?
  8. 8. How to choose journals for submitting your paper 5 What is the journal’s turnaround time?Peer review period. How many issues does the journal publish ina year? A monthly journal is much more likely to review yourarticle quickly compared with a journal that only publishes once ayear. Some journals list the date submitted and date accepted.Comparing these dates will give an approximate idea of theturnaround time.Publication delay. If the journal has an online edition, does it postaccepted articles online there once approved for publication? Ifso, this means that your article will be published online soon afterit is accepted (and for practical purposes, will be considered as apublished paper), even if it appears in print much later. For thoselooking to publish in a whirlwind (less than two months), openaccess may be the best option.
  9. 9. How to choose journals for submitting your paperChecklist No. Checklist Yes No 1 Does the subject of your article match the journals subject focus? 2 Does the journal accept the article type you intend to submit? 3 Is the journal read by your target audience? 4 Is the journal included in bibliographic and subject-specific databases? 5 Does the journal have an online edition? 6 Is the journals impact factor in line with your requirements? 7 Is the journal regarded as a prestigious one in its field by colleagues and peers? Click here to download the PDF version of the checklist
  10. 10. How to choose journals for submitting your paperChecklist No. Checklist Yes No 8 What is the turnaround time for articles submitted to the journal? 9 How many times a year is the journal published? 10 What are the publication charges? 11 Is the length and structure of your manuscript acceptable to the journal? Click here to download the PDF version of the checklist
  11. 11. How to choose journals for submitting your paperConclusionCarefully selecting the journal to which to submit your manuscript greatly reduces thechances of rejection of your work. Once you have taken a preliminary decision on thejournal, read the Instructions to Authors to discover the limitations imposed by thejournal in the form of article format, word count, citation styles, photographspecifications, publication costs, etc. This will help you make a final decision.
  12. 12. How to choose journals for submitting your paperBibliography1. Ali J (2010). Manuscript rejection: Causes and remedies. Journal of Young Pharmacists, 2(1): 3-6. doi: 10.4103/0975-1483.62205.2. Schultz DM (2010). Rejection rates for journals publishing in the atmospheric sciences. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 91(2): 231-43. doi: 10.1175/2009BAMS2908.1.3. Aarssen LW, Tregenza T, Budden AE, Lortie CJ, Koricheva J, Leimu R (2008). Bang for your buck: Rejection rates and impact factors in ecological journals. The Open Ecology Journal, 1(1): 14-19. doi: 10.2174/1874213000801010014.
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