Journal Impact and Assessment

Where to publish

Can't figure out what journal to submit your article or manuscript to?

Try some of the below tips to help generate some ideas. 

  • Talk to your colleagues - See where they have been published and their experience with the process.
  • Talk with your department - Some departments maintain a list of journals deemed highly important and necessary to be published in.
  • Impact Factors - Look up the top ten or twenty Impact Factor or SCImago ranked journals for your field. 
  • Review your reference list - Where do most of the articles on your reference list or on your bibliography come from? 
  • Database search - Try searching the topic of your article in a relevant database to see where related articles in your field have been published. 

Publishing Tools

Once you have a few journal ideas, use the below guidelines to assist you in completing the selection of a reputable scholarly journal in which to publish your work. 

  • Evaluate the Journal Quality and Reputation by reviewing the Journal Website (Is their Editorial Board clearly identified and well known in their field? Is the publication process clearly laid out? Does any other important information appear to be missing?)
  • Examine the Journal Impact Factor and other metrics.
  • Consult Ulrich's Periodicals Directory which can provide information about the history of a journal, publisher information, open access status, and what databases index the journal. A refereed journal will have a "refereed" icon next to the title.
  • What other libraries have access to the journal? - Search results for a journal in WorldCat will include a list of libraries which subscribe to it.
  • What ethical commitments has the journal made?  
  • Check for journal (open access journals only) - DOAJ is an online directory that indexes open access, peer-reviewed journals.  
  • Talk to your colleagues - ask if the feedback provided by the journal and its reviewers is valuable and appropriately critical to help improve the paper.
  • Seek out the acceptance rate of the journal. (This can be difficult. Click here to get some suggestions on how to do this.)

Be on the look out for journals that do any of the following as they could be predatory journals. 

  • Editors or editorial board members with no or fake academic affiliations.
  • Lack of clarity about fees.
  • Publisher names and journal titles with geographic terms that have no connection to the publisher’s physical location or journal’s geographic scope.
  • Bogus impact factor claims and invented metrics.
  • False claims about where the journal is indexed.

Principles of Transparency

1. Peer review process: All of a journal’s content, apart from any editorial material that is clearly marked as such, shall be subjected to peer review. Peer review is defined as obtaining advice on individual manuscripts from reviewers expert in the field who are not part of the journal’s editorial staff. This process, as well as any policies related to the journal’s peer review procedures, shall be clearly described on the journal’s Web site.

2. Governing Body: Journals shall have editorial boards or other governing bodies whose members are recognized experts in the subject areas included within the journal’s scope. The full names and affiliations of the journal’s editors shall be provided on the journal’s Web site.

3. Editorial team/contact information Journals shall provide the full names and affiliations of the journal’s editors on the journal’s Web site as well as contact information for the editorial office.

4. Author fees: Any fees or charges that are required for manuscript processing and/or publishing materials in the journal shall be clearly stated in a place that is easy for potential authors to find prior to submitting their manuscripts for review or explained to authors before they begin preparing their manuscript for submission.

5. Copyright: Copyright and licensing information shall be clearly described on the journal’s Web site, and licensing terms shall be indicated on all published articles, both HTML and PDFs.

6. Identification of and dealing with allegations of research misconduct: Publishers and editors shall take reasonable steps to identify and prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred, including plagiarism, citation manipulation, and data falsification/fabrication, among others. In no case shall a journal or its editors encourage such misconduct, or knowingly allow such misconduct to take place. In the event that a journal’s publisher or editors are made aware of any allegation of research misconduct relating to a published article in their journal – the publisher or editor shall follow COPE’s guidelines (or equivalent) in dealing with allegations.

7. Ownership and management: Information about the ownership and/or management of a journal shall be clearly indicated on the journal’s Web site. Publishers shall not use organizational names that would mislead potential authors and editors about the nature of the journal’s owner.

8. Web site: A journal’s Web site, including the text that it contains, shall demonstrate that care has been taken to ensure high ethical and professional standards.

9. Name of journal: The Journal name shall be unique and not be one that is easily confused with another journal or that might mislead potential authors and readers about the Journal’s origin or association with other journals.

10. Conflicts of interest: A journal shall have clear policies on handling potentialconflicts of interest of editors, authors, and reviewers and the policies should be clearly stated.

11. Access: The way(s) in which the journal and individual articles are available to readers and whether there are associated subscription or pay per view fees shall be stated.

12. Revenue sources: Business models or revenue sources (eg, author fees, subscriptions, advertising, reprints, institutional support, and organizational support) shall be clearly stated or otherwise evident on the journal’s Web site.

13. Advertising: Journals shall state their advertising policy if relevant, including what types of ads will be considered, who makes decisions regarding accepting ads and whether they are linked to content or reader behavior (online only) or are displayed at random.

14. Publishing schedule: The periodicity at which a journal publishes shall be clearly indicated.

15. Archiving: A journal’s plan for electronic backup and preservation of access to the journal content (for example, access to main articles via CLOCKSS or PubMedCentral) in the event a journal is no longer published shall be clearly indicated.

16. Direct marketing: Any direct marketing activities, including solicitation of manuscripts that are conducted on behalf of the journal, shall be appropriate, well targeted, and unobtrusive.

From the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.