Selecting the right journal to publish research papers/articles published in can seem like an intimidating task. There are thousands of active research journals. Choosing the right one may involve researching the scope of the journals that interest you. The process is thought to be made easier by the use of modern tools such as
- the world-renowned Scopus journal indexing database
- DOAJ (which is the Directory of Open Access Journals) assists researchers in finding the best journals for their research papers
- ThinkCheckSubmit, which helps researchers avoid falling prey to predatory publishers
- FindMyJournal, which helps in automating the selection process (reducing the time that it takes to scour through multiple journal publications)
Despite the existence of these tools, however, the selection process remains daunting for most researchers looking to get their work published.
Crucial Journal Scouting Tips
Having a manuscript sent to an unsuitable journal is quite a common mistake committed by both young and experienced research authors and can cause journal editors to reject the manuscript even before the peer-review process. Choosing a relevant journal increases the chances of acceptance of a manuscript.
Some factors about a journal to consider before settling on it include
- Topics Typically Published By The Journal
Those researchers whose research work is applied should target a journal that publishes applied science. Those whose research work is entirely clinical should aim for clinical review publishers. Researchers may find it easier by browsing a list of journals while considering the subject matter that these journals typically deal with as well.
- A Journal’s Typical Audience
Are researchers from related fields likely to be interested in a certain published work? If so, a journal that covers a wide range of topics may be preferable. If only researchers in a certain domain are likely to want to read the article, then a field-specific journal would be preferable.
- The Sort Of Research That A Journal Typically Deals With
Those researchers who are looking to publish a journal, case study or thesis should make sure their target journal accepts these types of manuscripts.
- The Reputation That A Journal Has Managed To Garner Throughout Its Existence
The impact factor of a journal is an indication of its reputation. Nevertheless, this metric isn’t always that revealing of a journal’s reputation or even the most important of factors for consideration. Researchers should consider the reputation of the authors who publish in the journal and whether their research is of a similar standard.
- Personal Objectives
Does the journal usually publish articles quickly? Is the journal’s time to publication suitable? When looking for suitable journals to publish one’s results researchers should start with what they’ve read. They should already be familiar with published studies that are similar to theirs. In which review were these studies published? The same journals may be appropriate for their manuscript, so making a list of them can prove to be immensely helpful.
If one needs more journals to consider, they can search the literature for other articles published in their field that have similar scope and impact in the field and see where they have been published. When they have a list of potential target journals, they should visit and check out the websites of those journals. Each journal should have a page that provides submission guidelines, including information on several of the factors listed above.
Journals on one’s list that do not match their manuscript based on the factors listed above should be eliminated (partake in an upcoming ARDA conference to learn more about how to speed up this process of elimination). Of the remaining journals, one or more will likely stand out as a very good candidate. Researchers should seriously consider if additional experiences will give them a better chance of getting a post in their top pick.
Researchers who are in a rush to publish should determine which of the remaining journals offers quick publication. If none do, they should determine which one has the highest post frequency. If their primary goal is to reach as many readers as possible, they should strongly consider candidate newspapers that offer an open access option. Why? Simply because open access journals allow anyone to read an article for free online which can make a researcher’s article more likely to be read and cited.
Upon choosing a journal that they think is best suited for their study and goals, it’s usually a good idea for researchers to identify their second and third-choice journals as well. This way, if their article is rejected from their first-choice journal, they can quickly submit it to their second-choice journal.
A Valuable, Time-Saving Tactic
Researchers who have different choices of journals belonging to the same publisher (such as the world-renowned ARDA Journal publications) should submit to their first-choice journal for review. If the editor of one journal decides that their manuscript is not suitable, they can ask the publisher to transfer their manuscript to another journal belonging to the same publisher.
This transfer process means one doesn’t have to upload their files and manuscript details more than once when there is a second-best journal they like from the same publisher. The manuscript and often reviews can be transferred on one’s behalf. This helps authors, reviewers and editors, all, save a ton of time. However, researchers should still keep in mind that they should never submit a manuscript to more than a single journal at a time.