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Scholarly Publishing Guide

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.

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Erin Owens
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ORCID: 0000-0001-9520-9314
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eowens@shsu.edu
NGL 223D

Discovering & Comparing Journals in a Field

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 reputable and 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.

Journal-First Approach

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.

Use the sources in this box first, then move to the sources in the "Article-First Approach" box.

Article-First Approach

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.

Use the sources in this box first, then move to the sources in the "Journal-First Approach" box.

Example: Searched for third language acquisition

Publication filter in Engine Orange showing the list of journals represented in the search results

How-To Videos

This video (4:52) from the University of Houston Libraries covers the basics of searching and navigating Cabell's.

This video (3:49) from the University of Massachusetts Libraries provides a good overview of searching for journals and impact data / metrics in Cabell's. 

This video (26:48) from Clarivate Analytics demonstrates the integrated use of Web of Science and JCR to inform manuscript submissions descisions.

Article-to-Journal "Matching" Tools

These are options which use natural language matching and artificial intelligence to suggest journals. Try them out if youwish, but recognize that they lack human mediation.

 

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