Finding a Journal to Publish In

Reputation is built on the back of publication activity and/or teaching performance. It is, therefore, an objective of most Faculty members to raise their profile by publishing research work. Trying to identify which journal to target can feel like a hit-or-miss affair, and targeting the top tier journals can seem onerous. However, there is some science that can be applied before you even put pen to paper.


Figure 1: Scimago journal ranking data


Five tips for selecting the right Journal

  1. Use the journal ranking information to find the top 10 journals in your subject area. The following indicators can be used to compile a list of candidates. This data is available from Scimago (see Figure 1).
    1. SJR (an overall measure of a journal’s impact, influence or prestige).
    2. H-index (number of articles receiving citations).
    3. ‘Cites per doc’ indicates the journal’s impact (i.e., are people taking notice of their articles).
  2. Match your proposed keywords with the list of potential journals. There is no data available on the keyword trends for a specific journal. So, you will need to do a little homework by looking at the kinds of articles that were published over the last year Revise your top 10 list to have at least 5 with your proposed keywords.
  3. Number of Authors. There is no data available on the number of authors for articles in a specific journal. So, you will need to do a little homework by looking at the articles that were published over the last year. If the Journal has trended towards 2 or 3+ Authors, then you will need to ensure that your article has an appropriate number of co-authors. Hint: having at least one international author does increase your likelihood of being accepted.
  4. Identify a target for the number of references to include in your article by looking at the Journal’s history. Scimago lists the number of ‘Refs per doc’ for each Journal for 2015.
  5. Have a prioritized list of 5 journals. As you write your article, you may find that it is more suited to a different journal than when you started out. Also, it is wise to ensure you have some alternatives in mind and are meeting their criteria.

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