*Skip to Main Content
Are you looking for a journal in which to publish your work? The following tips may help you when targeting journals for publication.
Look at Similar Articles: What articles have you cited in your paper? Where are they publishing? You may also want to consider updating your search in some key subject databases, to see if there's anything else relevant that's been published since your paper was completed.
Find Other Relevant Journals: Consider what other journals are out there, especially if you are looking beyond your immediate subject area. Journal directories such as Ulrich's Periodical Directory and Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) can be searched for journals of interest.
Consider Journal Reputation: A journal’s Impact Factor is one measure of reputation, but not always the most relevant. Some emerging disciplines may not be large enough to have an impact factor, or, if you are looking to publish in a Canadian journal, note the dominance of U.S./Britain journal publications. Some key tools to determine journal rankings include Journal Citation Reports and Scimago.
Review Submission Guidelines: When you have a list of potential target journals, visit and read the websites for these journals. Every journal should have a page that provides submission guidelines, e.g. what type of submissions they publish, etc. If journals on your list are not a match for your manuscript based on the factors listed in the submission guidelines, you may wish to continue looking elsewhere.
Avoiding Predatory Publishers: Researchers should be aware of a subset of publishers known as predatory publishers. These publishers take advantage of the 'pay to publish' model without providing quality peer review or editorial processes. We offer some tips on evaluating journals to avoid predatory publishers.
Open Your Research: If your main goal is to reach as many readers as possible, strongly consider candidate journals that provide an open access option. Open access allows anyone to read your article, free of charge, online, which can make your article more likely to be read and cited.
Know Your Author Rights: Even if you are not able to publish in an open access journal, you can still make the article open by self-archiving your post-print from the commercial publisher, subject to the conditions specified within the copyright transfer agreement. This method of open access, known as Green Open Access, is endorsed by more than 90% of publishers. As a researcher, it's important to be aware of your author rights, particularly when signing copyright transfer agreements.
Have a back-up plan: When you have chosen the journal you think is the best fit for your study and your goals, it is usually a good idea to also identify your second- and third-choice journals. That way, if your paper is rejected from your first-choice journal, you have other options.
Be persistent: don't feel like if you've been rejected from one journal, that it’s a comment on the quality of your work. In many cases, it just may not be a good fit for the journal. Identifying journals for publication can take time, so don't get discouraged!