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Research Guides

8 Tips for Choosing a Journal for Publishing Your Work

1. Ask your advisor, attending physician, or mentor. Senior authors with more experience in publishing can likely provide good journal recommendations.

2. Take a look at your manuscript's reference list. Consider submitting to a journal that you cite several times in your manuscript.

3. Consider journal impact factors. Journal impact factors, which can be found in SCImago Journal Rank (SJR), are indicators of journal prestige and can give you a sense of how difficult it might be to publish in a journal (in general, higher impact factor = lower acceptance rate).

4. Consult JANE. Enter your manuscript title and/or abstract into JANE (journal/author name estimator) and click 'find journals' to find the best matching journals.

5. Consider journal discoverability and archival policies. Choose a journal that is indexed in major bibliographic databases (look up in NLM Catalog) and allows you to self-archive your manuscript (look up in SHERPA/RoMEO).

6. Consider open access. Publishing in an open access journal can help your article reach a larger audience and receive more citations. Look for journals that have the "DOAJ Seal of Approval" in the Directory of Open Access Journals.

7. Ignore (most) email solicitations. A spam-like email from a journal soliciting manuscript submissions is often a warning sign of an untrustworthy journal. When in doubt, Think. Check. Submit. or ask a librarian.

8. Use Scopus or Web of Science (not available at SJMC). Search for key terms related to your manuscript in Scopus or Web of Science and filter your results by 'source title' to see the journals that publish most frequently in that area. 

Tools for Choosing a Journal

Have you recently written a paper, but you're not sure to which journal you should submit it? 

  • JANE (Journal/Author Name Estimator): A tool that compares your title and/or abstract to citations already in Medline and recommends potential journals in which to publish.
  • Think Check Submit: Tool to help you discover and choose the right journal or Publisher for your research. Use the checklist to assess the journals and avoid Predatory journals.  
  • NLM Catalog - Journals referenced in the NCBI Databases: Journals referenced in the NCBI Databases (PubMed, Protein, Gene, etc). Includes publication dates, abbreviations, full titles and more
  • IEEE Publication RecommenderSearches 170+ periodicals and 1500+ conferences from IEEE, provides factors such as Impact Factor and Submission-To-Publication Time.
  • JournalGuide: Enter abstracts of Keyowords of your manuscripts. It is a free tool created by a goupr of sofware developers, former researhers and scholarly publishing venterans at Research Squre. 
  • ChronosHub Journal Finder: Browse, search, filter, sort, and compare more than 40,000 journals to find the right journal without worry about publishing in compliance with your funders’ Open Access policy
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ): Find High-quality, Peer-reviewed OpenAccess Journals in all subjects and languages. 
  • Open Access Scholary Publishing Association (OASPA): To check whether a publisher is a member of the OASPA to avoid Predatory Publishing.  
  • Elsevier's Journal Finder: Enter your abstract or keywords of publication. It uses smart search technology and field of research specific vocabularies to match your article to scientifc journals (Elesevier Journals)
  • Journal Suggester from Springer: Enter your manuscript title & abstract, and the Journal Suggester will search over 2,500 Springer and BioMed Central journals to find suitable journals for your manuscript.
  • Journal Metrics from Elsevier: Explains journal metrics: Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP), The Impact per Publication (IPP), SCImago Journal Rank (SJR)
  • Journal Metrics from Wiley: Explains common journal metrics: Metric Name, Metric Score, Metric Description
  • Journal Evaluation Tool (PDF) from Loyola Marymount University                                                                           

Instructions to Authors

Open Access Publishing

To encourage the free dissemination of research which is often stifled by high journal subscription costs, the scientific and library communities often encourage researchers to publish in Open Access (OA) journals. OA resources are peer-reviewed scholarly resources that are free to access and are freely reproducible with proper acknowledge and citation. 

Publication in Open Access journals increases the visibility and research impact of published research, freely provides an access to published research for readers, increases the sharing of the research, and research impact tracking. However, there are disadvantages of publishing in OA journals, which are the varying degree of peer-review process causing low quality research publication, data sharing jeopardize the research of junior researchers, and publication fee.

OA Publication Process:

  • Write research article.
  • Conduct a search for a potential OA journal for publication using Directory of Open Access Journals and Open Access Scholarly Publisher Association.
  • Verify authority of the journal using Web of Science Journal Citation Report.
  • Determine if journals are indexed by academic databases.
  • Determine the self-archiving privileges, rights, and permissions.
  • Explore journal publication information (e.g., IF, JCR, SJR), editorial information, and publication fee.
  • Explore an information for authors that is required for submission in OA journal.