This guide will help you evaluate and select journals, avoid predatory publishers, negotiate publishing contracts, understand mandates for sharing your publication, and reuse your own work appropriately.
You probably already know some key journals in your field. However, you may be unaware of other good journals, especially emerging titles. And when you expand into a new area of research, familiar journals may not your best options.
The tools below can help you discover journals and compare their characteristics with your manuscript and goals:
Is this journal reputableand high-quality?
Scope and Mission - What do they want to accomplish? What topics do they include and exclude?
Audience - Academic or professional/trade? Experts, students, or laypersons?
Style - E.g., Formal or conversational? Highly structured or more organic?
Content focus/angle - E.g., Theoretical/conceptual work or discussions of practical application?
Acceptance rate, readership, citation-based metrics, and other quantitative factors?
How do these traits of style and content compare with your own? Are you a good match for this journal, and is it a good match for you?
When details are lacking, don't be afraid to contact a journal's editor.
Start by searching for articles on similar topics, find out where they are published, and THEN look up those journals to compare their characteristics to your goals.
This approach is GENERALLY EASIER for early career researchers who may not yet be accustomed to thinking of their work in terms of top-level disciplinary categories and terms.
Use the sources in this box first, then move to the sources in the "Journal-First Approach" box.
Engine OrangeThis link opens in a new windowFind books, articles, films, and MORE with a single search, from the SHSU library catalog and a large number of selected databases.
Example: Searched for third language acquisition
Start by searching for journals in a field, compare their characteristics, and THEN read articles from recent issues to see if a journal is a good fit for your work.
This approach may be MORE EFFICIENT for more experienced researchers who are more familiar with thinking of their work in top-level disciplinary categories and terms and who may already be more familiar with an array of disciplinary journals.
Use the sources in this box first, then move to the sources in the "Article-First Approach" box.
NOTE:The supported browsers are Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari.
Provides publication details, including acceptance rates and key metrics, for journals in many disciplines. "Journalytics" list identifies high-quality journals; "Predatory Report" identifies likely predatory journals.
Modern Language Association (MLA) Directory of PeriodicalsThis link opens in a new windowProduced by the Modern Language Association of America, this directory lists periodicals indexed in the MLA International Bibliography. Periodicals relating to the areas of literature, language, linguistics, culture, and folklore are included. Entries for each title include editor, publisher, language, information about submission for publication, advertising rates, and copyright ownership. Search this database by keyword, subject, title, scope, ISSN , and more.
JCR: InCites Journal Citation ReportsThis link opens in a new windowTool for evaluating and comparing journals using citation data drawn from scholarly and technical journals from publishers internationally. It is the only source of citation data on journals, and includes virtually all specialties in science, technology, and social sciences.
Journal Citation Reports can show you the:
- Most frequently cited journals in a field
- Highest impact journals in a field
- Hottest journals in a field
- Leading journals in a field
- Most published articles in a field
JCR is available annually in two editions, Science and Social Sciences.
UlrichsWeb Global Serials DirectoryThis link opens in a new windowUlrichsWeb is a bibliographic database providing detailed, comprehensive, and authoritative information on serials published throughout the world. It covers all subjects, and includes publications that are published regularly or irregularly and are circulated free of charge or by paid subscription.
New metric developed by the Center for Open Science (COS): "TOP Factor is a metric that reports the steps that a journal is taking to implement open science practices, practices that are based on the core principles of the scientific community. It is an alternative way to assess journal qualities, and is an improvement over traditional metrics that measure mean citation rates. The TOP Factor is transparent (see underlying data and the evaluation rubric) and will be responsive to community feedback."
Article-to-Journal "Matching" Tools
These are options which use natural language matching and artificial intelligence to suggest journals. Try them out, but recognize that they lack human mediation.
Enter the title and/or abstract of your paper in the box, and click on 'Find journals'. Jane will then compare your document to millions of documents in PubMed to find the best matching journals. [Focus will be on medical / health journals.]
Free, open-source tool that matches manuscripts in biomedicine and life sciences with suitable journals, based on a manuscript’s title, abstract, and (optionally) citations. Developed by the Townsend Lab at the Yale School of Public Health.