Choose where to publish

Factors to consider when choosing where to publish your research

Choose where to publish

With more than 25,000 peer reviewed journals to choose from, it can be a daunting task to identify a suitable outlet for your next paper.

As a first step, it is a good idea to publish in a journal that is indexed by Scopus or Web of Science. This can help to maximise your citation impact. To find out if a journal is indexed by Scopus check the Scopus title list. You can also search in the 'Browse Sources' feature of Scopus. To find out if a journal is indexed by Web of Science search the master list. You need to change the box next to Search Type to 'Full Journal Title' before searching.

You also need to consider the specific scope of a journal, its reputation, your chances of being accepted, how long it will take to get published, and whether it offers an open access option that is acceptable to your funder.

Below are some information sources and tools to make things a little easier.

Impact factors and reputation

Impact factors measure how often on average articles in a particular title are cited. This is a useful proxy for a journal's standing and reputation and can be helpful when deciding from your shortlist.

The authoritative source for current impact factors in the sciences and social sciences is Thomson Reuter's Journal Citation Reports (JCR).

JCR is very selective and only reports impact factors for about 40% of journals.  A much more comprehensive source based on new metrics (PDF file) can be found at the JournalMetrics web site.

Elsevier's Journal Finder

Elsevier (the publisher) has developed an online tool to help you identify potential journals to submit to.

Copy your title and abstract into Journal Finder (beta) and you will see a list of (Elsevier!) candidate titles.  Even if you know the field well, this is still a useful service because it gives comprehensive information about acceptance rates and time to publication.  For other journals you will have to check out their web site to see if they give similar information.

Open access options

Many funders require you to make your article available to all on an 'open access' basis - although it does not necessarily need to be available to all immediately on publication. You can check SHERPA/FACT to find out what your open access options are for your journal.

Directory of Open Access Journals

The Directory of Open Access Journals is a vital information source to help you find a suitable open access journal for your work.

Predatory open access publishers

There are unfortunately some rogue open access publishers out there with very low standards. They are listed in Biall's List which is worth checking out if you have any doubts about a publisher's credentials.

None of the sources above is an adequate substitute for a careful reading of your chosen journal's home web page.

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